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Val's mouth was dry. "You should recheck your information. Steffano has good credentials--"
"You want to vouch for him?" Junior asked.
"I worked with him plenty of times," said Val. "I trust him as much as I trust anyone."
"That don't really answer the question, does it?"
Val had no weapon. Armando patted down everyone who entered the penthouse for guns or wires. He glanced toward Armando poised in the doorway--the deadboy utterly immobile, waiting. "Steffano found that deserted airstrip outside Ocala. Remember? We all made money off of Steffano. He deserves--"
"He deserves everything he gets," said Junior.
Steffano's face was jammed against the rear window, his mouth moving. Val was glad he couldn't read lips. "Who gave up Steffano?" he said, still looking through the telescope. "Maybe you should consider the source. We all make enemies, Junior. I'd hate to see you made a fool of by someone who wanted to take over Steffano's action." His head being pulled slowly back, Steffano was screaming now--a pantomime of pain. Blood poured from his nostrils as he struggled.
"Look at that boy holler," said Junior, his eyes fitted to the binoculars. "You just know he's making that van echo. Must be like a funhouse on Halloween."
"I have an interest in keeping Steffano alive--"
"Sure as shit sounds like it," Junior said.
"I'm working with him on something up north. If he's a cop I want to know it, but I don't think you should ruin a sweet deal for me unless you're sure."
"When I was in seventh grade," said Junior, not taking his eyes off the van, "me and Nestor would sit on a hill overlooking this drive-in and watch the skinflicks. No sound, just the night and all that soft pink . . . um umm, good. The silence made the movies even . . . sexier somehow. Why do you think that is, Valentine?"
"Call the Jackson brothers," Val said. "Make them stop. I need this deal up north to happen, Junior. I'll make it worth your--" Blood splashed across the rear window of the van; red streamers trickled down the glass.
"Shucks. Show's over and done." Junior exhaled slowly. "Damn. I told them Jackson boys to take their time, but you know how they are." He turned to Val. "What was you saying, Valentine?"
Val stepped away from the telescope.
"You're upset. I can see it," Junior said. "See, there's that conscience of yours acting up again. I don't know how you stand that thing in your head, all the time yappa-yappa." He pulled a cell-phone out of his pocket, flipped it open. "Howdy." Val hadn't even heard it buzz. Junior looked at Val as he listened, one finger massaging his gums. It seemed like it took forever. "Okey-dokey," he said finally, snapping the phone shut. "Steffano admitted he was po-lice, but he said he was working alone. The boys asked him over and over and then some, but your name never come up."
Val knew Junior still had doubts about him--a man in his position couldn't afford not to--but Val felt only the sun on his back. "You sound surprised, Junior."
"A little, but hey, I'm happy you're no cop. You crack me up." Junior peeled a tiny patch of skin off his blistered nose. "I got to tell you, though, Armando is plain heartbroke you ain't got a badge somewhere. I can't figure out why he's taken such a hate on you."
Val couldn't think of anything clever to say; he felt numb.
Junior rocked on his heels. "You don't look so good, Valentine. You're not going to cry or nothing, are you?"
"Yeah, boo-hoo, motherfucker."
Junior laughed. "See, that's what I mean. You crack me up, boy." He checked his watch. "Jeopardy is on in eleven minutes. You want to stick around? It's Tournament of Champions week."
Val looked past Junior, staring right at the van. "Some other time."
Posted October 8, 2008
This was one of the best books I have ever read. I found the book in the store and just started to skim it but then I brought it and didnt stop reading it. Everywhere I went this book came along with me, I would try to hide and read so that no one could interupt me. I read the book in 2 days. It has an amazing twist at the end that I wasn't expecting. You have to read this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2006
Robert Ferrigno serves up the mean streets of Miami and L.A. in this tale of rogue cops, drug kingpins, and psychotic killers. Oh, and he thows in a murderously dysfunctional family for good measure. And a sexy love story, too! How could anyone resist? The action-packed story ends in a twist I never saw coming. Loved it!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2001
Posted December 9, 2008
Eight months ago in Miami, the Jackson brothers, working for Junior, a drugpin, kill undercover cop Steffano. At a Cuban restaurant Steffano's police partner Val Duran shares a meal with the Jacksons. The hired guns take immense pleasure in bragging to Val about the bombing death of Steffano as much as the meal they savor. Fearing for his own life, the next morning Val flees for Los Angeles. <P>Not wanting to obtain any jobs involving law enforcement, Val quickly accepts work as a stuntman. Val also meets and falls in love with Kyle Abbott. However, he soon finds himself embroiled with a family on the ropes. Kyle's half-brother hires some thugs to kill his wealthy stepmother. Adding to his woes, Junior wants Val dead. As both situations and his passion for Kyle heat up, Val finds himself in the middle of trouble that easily could leave him dead. <P> No one who enjoys a fast-paced Hollywood mystery will suffer from a broken heart after reading Robert Ferrigno's best novel in about a decade (since THE HORSE LATITUDES). The story line is reminiscent of Elmore Leonard's Shorty tales as the myriad of subplots blends together into an action-packed story line where California dreaming meets Miami vice. Fans of the sub-genre will cherish Val for his quest for love even as thugs threaten his life. Readers will definitely desire his return in a sequel. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.