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Head Games

Head Games

5.0 1
by Craig Mcdonald, Richard Ferrone (Narrated by)

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A mystery that is a wistful ballad of lost America .


A mystery that is a wistful ballad of lost America .

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The head in question once belonged to Mexican general Pancho Villa, who successfully raided a Colorado town, eluded a retaliatory chase led by Black Jack Pershing, and amassed a treasure of silver and gold before being assassinated in 1923. Rumor has it that the head may have ended up in the bulging cabinet of curiosities belonging to Skull & Bones (the secret student society at Yale) thanks to Prescott Bush, grandfather of the current president. McDonald's debut plays with those and other historical figures. It's the late 1950s, and Hector Lassiter, once a Black Maskwriter and now a diabetic widower, joins forces with Lassiter, a journalist profiling him for Truemagazine, to explore the urban myth that the severed head contains a map locating the burial spot of the Villa treasure. Pursuing them are posses of Yale undergraduates, federal officials, and even Orson Welles. Offering the same array of nostalgic delights as Paul Malmont's The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, this is recommended for most public libraries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 5/1/07.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO

—Bob Lunn
Kirkus Reviews
A turbulent tale of murder, conspiracy and political intrigue. Pulp fiction and screenplay writer Hector Lassiter is being interviewed in a Mexican cantina by impressionable young Bud Fiske for a 1957 True magazine article when an old pal arrives with the rotting skull of Pancho Villa, a highly prized and dangerous keepsake. Hec and Bud escape with the head in a hail of gunfire that pushes them down a road filled with treachery, deceit and near-death experiences. They travel to California, where Hec's old lover Marlene Dietrich, making a celebrated movie with Orson Welles, needs Hec's help in setting the right tone. There Hec meets Marlene's assistant Alicia, a beautiful young Mexican who becomes the latest in his long string of lovers and wives. Villa's head is sought by many, from stone Mexican killers to the frat boys competing with Yale's Skull and Bones Society, masterminded by George W's grandfather Senator Prescott Bush. Hec, Bud and Alicia get a little help from the FBI because J. Edgar Hoover is furious with Bush, who's using his CIA connections to find the skull. In the end, though, only their own skills can keep them alive. The grisly carnage in McDonald's Spillane-like fictional debut has its roots in a real historical question: Did the Bush family really help hide Pancho Villa's head in the inner sanctum of Skull and Bones? Despite the intriguing premise, not for the faint-hearted.

Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
The Hector Lassiter Series

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Head Games (Hector Lassiter Series #1) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Head Games is a darkly funny and action packed story that introduces crime writer Hector Lassiter. Hector is a hard drinking hard living man¿s man who has worn himself out from self abuse, but doesn¿t want to slow down. And in this book, he doesn¿t have much choice anyway. Hector has come into possession of the skull of Pancho Villa. Like Rick¿s transit visas in Casablanca, it seems that Hector will never be lonely as long as he has that infamous skull. He is pursued across Mexico and California by federales, frat boys, and the father of a future Presidential dynasty. Along the way, Hector makes time to visit old friends like Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles who are in the middle of filming noir classic ¿A Touch of Evil.¿ Towards the end of the book, we even get to meet a young man named George W at the Skull and Bones Tomb on the campus at Yale. The book is a great read on many levels. There is enough action, cussing, and violence to satisfy Quenton Tarantino. But this is a thinking person¿s novel too. There are literal and figurative ¿Head Games¿ going on thoughout the book. Hector Lassiter is trying to plot his way out of his predicament like he would plot one of his own crime novels. He succeeds on some levels, but finds that he is unable to control the people he comes in contact with the same way he can control characters in his novels. Author McDonald maintains complete control over an amazing cast of characters in ¿Head Games.¿ The plot and the writing will keep you turning the pages. The clever and ironic dialogue will keep you smiling. If you like crazy road stories filled with wild characters (a la Kerouac), with a secretive and manipulative organization out to get the main character (think DaVinci Code in Connecticut), along with the sense of humor of Comedy Central¿s Daily Show, you will love this novel.