ODD MAN OUT by Brandon Hebert


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A federal agent and a petty criminal team up, sort of, to break up a hydra-headed drug ring.

It looks like Christmastime for Max Bradford, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. South Florida cops have busted Darnell Sims for making terrorist threats, and Max, who’s got Darnell’s old jacket for cigarette smuggling in front of him, figures he can make Darnell an offer he can’t refuse: Come to work for Uncle Sam informing on your old boss Johnny Stanz and his associates and digging up new info, or we’ll throw away the key. The new partnership gets off to a rocky start when Max’s car is run off the road by a pair of guys brandishing serious firepower. The gunmen, Billy Poe and Lester Long, work for Raoul Garcia, a drug lord who’s still holding a grudge against Darnell over the little matter of half a million dollars that vanished three years ago. Instead of going into hiding after the abortive hit, however, Raoul doubles down by hiring Armando “the Vulture” Hernandez to mop up the loose ends that seem to be constantly expanding to include every other cast member. In such a combustible atmosphere, it’s every man for himself. And every woman too, since Raoul’s mistress, Gloria, and masseuse, Alondra Ayala, who maintains that she’s neither Darnell’s girlfriend nor a working girl, are playing their own angles as they urge their men to further mayhem. Whether the salt-and-pepper pair of Max and Darnell will fit into the campaign Max’s partner, Tom Mako, has dubbed Operation Prime Time is perhaps the least interesting question in this three-course banquet of felonies.

The follow-up to Hebert’s bright debut (My Own Worst Enemy, 2009) features so many casual double crosses that it would be foolish to take any of them personally.

Pub Date: May 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2699-4
Page count: 312pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2013


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