DEAD HEAT by Arthur F. Nehrbass

DEAD HEAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A New Jersey mobster sent to Florida to lie low just can't sit on his hands; his casually felonious big-money schemes make trouble for everybody, including himself. Don Carlo Magliocco, back in Jersey, thought he'd made himself clear to Vincent Strollo: take a break in Miami till the heat from the bank fraud and the Mafia graveyard wear off. But no sooner has restless Strollo shaken hands with Tony Ianello, Magliocco's Florida deputy, than he's laying the groundwork for another bank scam--using counterfeit securities as collateral for generous loans. He adds a construction deal, buying title to the Towers of Light apartments in order to siphon off money supposedly going to construction costs. And all this isn't enough. When Peter Siragusa, a cousin back home, finds 200 pounds of gold in his late father's basement and asks Strollo's help in fencing it, Strollo can't resist fleecing him. Moreover, when his long-suffering wife, Rosa, pesters him about their money, Strollo orders an off-the-books hit on her. Meantime, a pair of rogue narcotics cops, protected by an FBI supervisor with his own secrets to hide, stake their own claim on the millions in drug cash flooding Miami. A bevy of infinitely more boring police officers and FBI agents, aided by a small army of informers, are slowly piecing together Strollo's schemes--even as capos and soldiers of every stripe are jockeying for position in the post-Strollo mob. The highlight here is the ornately multilayered dialogue between characters who never speak their minds to each other. It's a shame Nehrbass (Dead Easy, 1992) doesn't handle his dazzlingly intricate web of plots and subplots with equal dexterity.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-93664-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994