Books by Les Standiford

Released: March 31, 2015

"Generally sympathetic to its subject and well-written but to be consulted only after William Kahrl's Water and Power (1982) and Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert (1986)."
Dutiful story of a man who, not having finished high school, "let alone set foot in an engineering class," designed a metropolitan water system that is still in use today. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 6, 2012

"A timely, exciting exploration of how the underground agenda of a few radicals paved the road to American democracy."
An intriguing new look at the political and economic crises that prompted a secret society of American citizens into actions that incited the Revolutionary War. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2011

"A riveting, sad coda to an American tragedy."
A bestselling author and a veteran Miami police sergeant tell the whole story behind the 1981 kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 25, 2008

"A lot of information crammed into a few pages, but the modest thesis rings true."
Novelist and popular historian Standiford (Washington Burning: How a Frenchman's Vision of Our Nation's Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Army, 2008, etc.) revisits the genesis of the great English writer's most enduring book. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2008

"A nice complement to Fergus M. Bordewich's broader survey, Washington: The Making of the American Capital (2008), offering a more intimate look at L'Enfant and the crisis provoked by the British."
Novelist and accomplished armchair historian Standiford (Writing/Florida International Univ.; Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America, 2005, etc.) gives a sprightly account of Washington, D.C.'s improbable genesis and survival. Read full book review >
Released: May 10, 2005

"Sometimes a little too breezy, but Standiford's glimpse into the greed-is-good Gilded Age will interest business-history buffs."
Life lesson number one for a would-be robber baron: Don't cross Andrew Carnegie. Read full book review >
HAVANA RUN by Les Standiford
Released: May 9, 2003

"Bring back the brio."
The world is too much with John Deal, once the very model of a genre swashbuckler (Bone Key, 2002, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Engaging, but facile. (8 pp. b&w photos, not seen)"
A History Lite tale chronicles the building, between 1892 and 1912, of the 156-mile railroad from Miami to Key West, once billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Read full book review >
BONE KEY by Les Standiford
Released: April 15, 2002

"A mixed Deal whose likable hero almost salvages the by-the-numbers plotting."
From Miami, home base of his Dealco Construction Co., John Deal shuffles over to Key West on a business trip. Read full book review >
DEAL WITH THE DEAD by Les Standiford
Released: Feb. 19, 2001

"Standiford's very real talent can make standard stuff seem fresher than it is."
In his sixth outing (Presidential Deal, 1998, etc.), John Deal meets an old friend and copes with a new nemesis—aside from that it's business as usual. Read full book review >
Released: May 25, 2000

"Further proof that both comedy and golf are hard and need to be taken seriously."
A relentlessly unfunny comic novel about golf and Armageddon by Abbott and eight other writers, each of whom contribute a chapter (a la 1997's Naked Came the Manatee): Dave Barry, Richard Bausch, James Crumley, James W. Hall, Tami Hoag, Tim O'Brien, Ridley Pearson, and Standiford. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 5, 1998

"A very good Deal indeed. (Author tour)"
It's a simple, well-worn formula, but work it well—as Standiford does here—and it's almost foolproof. Read full book review >
DEAL ON ICE by Les Standiford
Released: Feb. 19, 1997

"And you thought James Bond was passÇ. ($30,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Mild-mannered supercontractor John Deal tackles a crazed cyberevangelist and his murderous minions—in the least finely nuanced, and most conventional, of Standiford's five thrillers (Deal to Die For, 1995, etc.). Read full book review >
DEAL TO DIE FOR by Les Standiford
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Standiford's Miami and his quirky characters wouldn't be out of place on a shelf with Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, while his choreographed action scenes recall John D. MacDonald. ($25,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
In the third outing for his southern Florida builder John Deal (Done Deal, 1993; Raw Deal, 1994), Standiford blends vivid settings, tension, and cinematic action to illuminate the internal journeys of an intriguing mix of characters. Read full book review >
RAW DEAL by Les Standiford
Released: Oct. 26, 1994

"Since Deal continues to do nothing heroic (that's his shtick), this thriller remains inert, giving far too much away from the beginning and keeping only the most inconsequential secrets for last. ($45,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
After a standout appearance in Done Deal (1993), it's back to the grind for mayhem-prone Florida builder John Deal in this deeply ordinary Carl Hiaasen knockoff. Read full book review >
DONE DEAL by Les Standiford
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Throw all of the above into the mix with Standiford's depiction of Miami's exotic landscape, melting-pot populace, and social ills for a page-turner of the first water."
Satire-laden Florida thriller from Standiford (Spill, 1991)- -with quirky characters, vivid settings, and riveting action done in Sam Peckinpah's slo-mo style. Read full book review >
SPILL by Les Standiford
Released: June 20, 1991

"They walked out into the cool dark, together'')."
A routine disaster thriller—a biochemical spill threatens Yellowstone National Park—distinguished by a clean, literate prose style and some magnificent scenery. Read full book review >