Fields Where They Lay (Junior Bender Series #6)

Fields Where They Lay (Junior Bender Series #6)

by Timothy Hallinan


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"Burglar Junior Bender may just be our favorite literary P.I."—Entertainment Weekly

It’s three days until Christmas and Junior Bender, Hollywood’s fasttalking fixer for the felonious, is up to his ears in shopping mall Santas, Russian mobsters, desperate holiday shoppers, and (’tis the season) murder.

The halls are decked, the deck is stacked, and here comes that jolly old elf. Junior Bender, divorced father of one and burglar extraordinaire, finds himself stuck inside the Edgerton Mall, and not just as a last-minute shopper (though he is that too). Edgerton isn’t exactly the epicenter of holiday cheer, despite its two Santas, canned Christmas music, chintzy bows, and festive lights. The mall is a fossil of an industry in decline; many of its stores are closed, and to make matters worse, there is a rampant shoplifting problem.

The murderous Russian mobster who owns the place has decided it takes a thief to catch a thief and hires Junior—under threat—to solve the shoplifting problem for him. But Junior’s surveillance operation doesn’t go well: as Christmas Eve approaches, two people are dead and it’s obvious that shoplifting is the least of the mall’s problems. To prevent further deaths, possibly including his own, Junior must confront his dread of Christmas—both present and past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616958640
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/24/2017
Series: Junior Bender Series , #6
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 286,972
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Timothy Hallinan has been nominated for the Edgar, Nero, Shamus, Macavity, and Silver Dagger awards. He is the author of twenty widely praised books, including the Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers, most recently Fools’ River, and the Junior Bender Hollywood burglar mysteries, including Herbie’s Game, winner of the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery. After years of working in the television and music industries, he now writes full-time. He lives in California and Thailand.

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Chapter 1

Excerpted from "Fields Where They Lay"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Timothy Hallinan.
Excerpted by permission of Soho Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Fields Where They Lay 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this , no. 6 in the series. 5 was a heart stopper with scary energy. This was character driven. Cried a lot of tears from the heartwarming understood. Thanks for writing.
stickerooniDM More than 1 year ago
This is book number six in a "Junior Bender Mystery" series. I have not read any of the other books in the series and because of that I think I was a bit lost right from the start. Junior Bender is a bit of a detective - but not for the good guys. He's a burglar who does a bit of detecting work for the criminal bosses in the area. At the start of the book, Bender is in the security office for a local mall. The mall, like so many around the country, isn't doing too well. Most people tend to shop online. But this mall is having some significant ups and downs during the holiday season. Enough 'ups' that the mall has hired two Santas - one for either end of the mall. But on the down side, there appears to have been more petty theft than usual, even for the holiday time of year. The mall is owned by a Russian gangster, who calls Bender in to investigate. At the beginning, I didn't realize that Bender was a criminal. We're informed that the mall owner has contacted him to investigate the theft problems. Without knowing any more, I immediately assumed that Bender was a detective or retired cop. So when I later read about his burglary tools in the trunk of his car, I'm confused. More-so when we're informed that the mall owner is a criminal. So who is Junior Bender? Of course if I'd read other books in the series I'd already know, but picking up this book new, I was confused. I only got to know more about him as the book went on. (Of course, if I'd read the Goodreads reviews before I read the book, I would know, but I prefer to read a book as fresh as possible so that I am not influenced by someone else's thoughts. Bender's dealings with the Jewish Santa, Schlomo, aren't what one would expect of a criminal (compounding my confusion), but I liked the gentleness and the holiday message here. It grounded the characters in a nice and fresh way. Unfortunately, despite some holiday philosophy, we also have a murder, corruption, and a threat against Bender's family. So much for the holiday spirit. What makes the book worth reading are the characters. Bender, Schlomo, and even the 'heavies' here are wonderful examples of literary characters that are unique and come across as quite real. What doesn't work so well are the multiple stories taking place. A mystery, with a red-herring or two, would have been fine. But the thefts, the murder, the history of Schlomo, the ... well, you get the idea. It was more than was necessary for a good mystery. Looking for a good book? Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan is the sixth book in a series - which is moderately important to know and has some great characters, but tries to tell too many stories. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Junior Bender, burglar extraordinaire and sometime detective to the underworld, serves as the narrator of this unusual Christmas tale. He is roped in to investigate, on behalf of a Russian mobster and owner of a dying shopping mall in Los Angeles, why there has been a spiking increase in shoplifting in recent months a few days before Christmas Day. Junior, who hates the Xmas atmosphere, is immersed in the Holiday cheer of shopping, Santas, and piped-in popular songs, much to his chagrin. While undertaking his task, he becomes involved in a few side ventures, including looking into the death of one of the shopkeepers, witnessing the death of another, and discovering the real problems at the mall, typical of similar establishments fading away all over the nation as shoppers turn to other outlets. Another involves his burgeoning friendship with one of the two Santas on the premises, helping him to recover a favorite item apparently stolen from his home. One side benefit, however: he is able to get his own holiday shopping done despite his procrastination. This novel probably is the most cerebral in the six-book Junior Bender series, with long passages on the business of shopping malls, their dying days, observations on the Holidays, people in general, and his own life and loves. In fact, he faces a crisis with his own lover and her reticence to divulge anything of her past. On the whole, Junior solves a unique problem in his typical fashion, with ingenuity. This is an excellent series, and one that continues to be recommended.