HELENI by Alfred Andrew McClymont

HELENI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Marine turned art thief becomes entangled in a complicated scheme that leads to the unraveling of his past in this winning mystery/thriller.

Michael Collins has been on the run for 30 years. Three decades earlier, his father, a powerful Greek importer/exporter in New York City, was executed in a gang shooting. Fearing for his life, Michael fled–first to the Marines, then the CIA and finally to the dangerous and glamorous life of a mercenary art thief. A mysterious client hires Collins to steal three paintings from a Turkish crime boss. The simple job becomes complicated when Collins finds himself and his crack team of ex-Marines in the middle of an intelligence operation to take out the Turkish criminal. Upon his return to the U.S., Collins discovers that the job is connected to his father’s death, a mystery that has yet to be solved. Fortunately, money is no object for the debonair thief, and he spends millions in enlisting the aid of those he meets in his quest to unravel the mystery, clear his good name and, of course, exact his revenge. The author effectively integrates the atmosphere of a Mafia narrative with the rapid pace of an intelligent thriller. In fluid, functional prose, he ably depicts the battle for supremacy between the “Turks” and the Greeks in New York City, which is replete with luxury automobiles, Swiss bank accounts and gorgeous women. Though the story relies too heavily on unlikely coincidences–nearly every key character is a Marine or ex-Marine, all of whom are familiar with Michael–the enjoyably complicated plot and insight into the world of organized crime will keep the pages turning.

An engaging thriller with added appeal for fans of Robert Ludlum and Mario Puzo.

Program: Kirkus Indie
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