Victor Carl is back, and back in trouble. At a low point in his lowly career, Victor finds himself skulking through the streets of Philadelphia carrying a bag full of money for an ambitious politician. It is a rotten job on the wrong side of anyone’s line, but with bag in hand Victor is suddenly hobnobbing with the city’s elite, filling his bank account, and having sex with the politician’s gorgeous and deranged sister. But just when Victor begins to think he’s got a future in the political game, one of his payoffs ends up in the pocket of a dead woman, and Victor goes from bagman to fall guy. Now Victor’s only way out might lie with a brotherhood of shady characters with sacks full of cash, bad fedoras, and their own twisted set of rules. Will Victor’s new friends help him find a killer or bury him deep?
About the Author
William Lashner is the New York Times bestselling author of The Barkeep, The Accounting, Blood and Bone, and eight previous Victor Carl novels, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages and sold across the globe. Writing under the pseudonym Tyler Knox, Lashner is also the author of Kockroach, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, which was described as “roaringly entertaining” by Publishers Weekly and “an energetic tour de force” by USA Today. Before retiring from law to write full-time, Lashner was a prosecutor with the Department of Justice in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the New York University School of Law as well as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives with his wife, his three children, and his dog, Chase Muttley, outside of Philadelphia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Victor Carl returns in the eighth entry in this series, with which for some reason I had no familiarity until this novel. But I certainly plan to read anything this author writes in future: it is simply terrific, and was a complete change of pace for this reviewer. Carl is an attorney; well, more accurately he is a lawyer-with-actual-clients wannabe. As he states in this first-person narrative,, one day “a political opportunity had fallen into my lap and I was running with it. Suddenly I had impressive people to impress and impressive places to go to, including a formal ball that would be packed with everyone who was anyone in Philadelphia politics. A rental tux would no longer do.” And he is on an expense account to boot. It seems he has just become a bagman. And the opening scene is at a black-tie Governor’s Ball, a place where “all about the room were little electromagnetic fields of power and money.” Before the evening is over, however, he is escorted out of the affair by a couple of cops, taking him to the scene where a young woman has been brutally murdered, a woman with whom Victor had met only hours earlier to give her what is only the first of huge bags full of money, in service of a local Congressman, one with a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee, with whom she had been involved. And this is only the first of similar transactions, and the first where a woman is killed. To say that the writing is pithy is not to do it justice. But beyond that, I defy the reader not to smile and nod with recognition throughout this book - - I know I did, frequently! Nominally a mystery, with murders to be solved, the book is filled with humor and recognizable portraits of politics and politicians, corruption, sex, all those things that make up our society, today and for years past. Besides the iconic protagonist, there is a determined cop and a political reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, in addition to a regular group of old-time bagmen to round out the cast, with a terrific conclusion to it all. The novel is highly recommended.