Books by Michael Stone

BAD BOY by Eric Fischl
Released: May 7, 2013

"Best for the discussions of his own work; worst for the gushing offered by some of his contributors."
A celebrated contemporary American artist, now in his 60s, paints his life and offers a review. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 19, 2000

"Overly detailed characterizations encumber an otherwise tension-filled tale of crime and punishment."
A murder investigation becomes a large-scale assault on drug gangs in this painstaking first book by New York City journalist Stone. Read full book review >
TOTALLY DEAD by Michael Stone
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

Undersized septuagenarian Alphonse Lucci likes to pretend he's as edgy and dangerous as the mafiosos he romanticizes. Actually, though, he's a pussycat. The fact is, he reminds bounty hunter Streeter, making his fourth appearance (Token of Remorse, 1998, etc.), of his own fantasy-prone father. So, naturally, when little Lucci comes to him for help, Streeter can't resist, though the gig clearly doesn't have much to do with bounty hunting. It's more in the nature of strong-arming one Freddy "the D" Disanto, who really is edgy and dangerous. As well as greedy, ruthless, and absolutely dedicated to the proposition that Alphonse should sell him a restaurant that's been in the Lucci family for generations. It's not that Disanto sees himself as a restaurateur—perish the sauces and seasonings. He sees himself as the multimillionaire he can become if a certain crooked land deal goes through. The hitch, of course, is that it's stymied without a small but significant property parcel. You guessed it, it's the parcel owned by the Luccis. Alphonse begs Streeter to just go and talk to Disanto, big man to big man, back him off a bit. Dubiously, Streeter does. As a result, he's drawn inexorably into a series of scam sessions so complex that not even the scammers can keep them straight. Still, Streeter does accomplish his overall goal, which is to keep Alphonse alive when the bullets start flying. And himself as well. Narrowly. Studded with Elmore Leonard—like oddballs, scaled down some but fun. And straight-ahead Streeter is at least on a par with those other one-namers—Parker and Hammer. Not Marlow, though. (Author tour) Read full book review >
TOKEN OF REMORSE by Michael Stone
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

Richie Moats's initial foray into armed robbery is blemished when his mask slips off mid-heist, revealing his face to the two acquaintances—collectors picking up the weekly take from Rudy Fontana's string of massage parlors—he's in the process of robbing. A week or so later, Richie's uncle, Denver waterbed king Marty Moats, asks Streeter, the one-named bounty hunter who's apparently a neighbor of CJ Floyd (see above), to take a trip down to San Ignacio to check out the State Department's story that Richie's Blazer, with Richie's bloodstains, has turned up without Richie. Streeter obligingly fences with the Mexican officials, but just as he's turning up evidence that Richie and his ladylove Tina Gillis, the exotic dancer Rudy made his Girl Friday, haven't gone south of the border after all, Marty calls him home, and Streeter's left without a case. Back home, though, it turns out that Marty isn't the only one who'd like to set his mind at ease about Richie. Rudy's silent partner, Grover Royals, is seriously interested in Richie and Tina and the money they boosted from him, and won't give them a safe-conduct back home from Florida unless they agree to make a little extra delivery of Quaaludes and Tupperware. Fans of Streeter's first two cases (A Long Reach, 1997, etc.) won't be surprised that from here on in, things get a little complicated. Though you'll need a diagram to keep track of the double-crosses, Stone's dry, unfussy narration keeps two things perfectly clear throughout: Everybody's into everybody else, and everybody's going to get burned. Read full book review >
A LONG REACH by Michael Stone
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

Carol Irwin's afraid of Kevin Swallow. Even though she did her best to clear him of a double homicide, and he ended up walking on a technicality, he blames her for the time he spent in jail—as she tells her ex-fiancÇ Streeter, prince of Denver skip- tracers—and now that Swallow's out again he's going to kill her. And killing her isn't enough: Swallow's taunting her by sending her doggerel notes accompanied by a tarantula and a dead cat- -something to think about as she reads the newspaper stories about what's become of the other law-enforcement types Swallow holds responsible for his prison stint (victims who, even though Swallow's threats were practically front-page news, never seem to have watched their own backs). How can Streeter (The Low End of Nowhere, 1996) say no to an old flame, especially one who remained a pal even after he broke up their wedding plans by bedding her best friend? So he goes on the job against Swallow, grudgingly opens his home to Carol—and gradually begins to pick up false notes (her quirky behavior, an unsettling anecdote starring herself and a garbage disposal) that make him wonder if this case is really as simple as it seems. It isn't, not by a long shot, even though Stone's twists actually rob his fast, sleek tale of tension; the ingenious finale, featuring a kidnapping, three pairs of handcuffs, a hand grenade, and a thoroughly exasperated mime, could have used a jolt of adrenaline from the opening pages. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Streeter's his name, bounty-hunting's his game, and he's not fussy about his clients—he'd just as soon take Story Moffatt's money as follow her around Denver trying to get the photos that will nail her for insurance fraud. So Streeter signs on to go after the liquid assets of Story's late fiancÇ Doug Shelton, whose premature death in a car crash left his bragged-about stash of drug money orphaned. But Story isn't the only one who has designs on the cash. Doug's slimy attorney, Thomas Hardy Cooper, and his hot-pants paralegal, Ronnie Taggert, would rather find Doug's money than actually go to work for a living—and so would Cooper's knife-wielding investigator, Leo Soyko, his subhuman sidekick Jacky Romp, and Det. Arthur Kovacs, who arrested Doug for selling and now claims to have access to his estate. It's a cast that would do Elmore Leonard proud, but first-timer Stone doesn't give them enough to do: The goons are so toothless that at the first sign of trouble everybody, including the goons, either falls down dead or packs to leave town. Maybe they're all waiting for the sequel to give them a story that's worth their appealingly nonstop venality. As for Streeter and Story, think Travis McGee and his latest lady fair—as Stone is obviously thinking too. Read full book review >