BUY BACK by Brian M. Wiprud
Kirkus Star


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Art theft, catnapping and other seriously negative energy on the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Tommy Davin is in corporate recovery. Insurance companies hire him to recover stolen property, usually by giving the people who stole it a fraction of its value so that the insurers can return it to its rightful owners instead of paying out a claim. You may think Tommy’s just one step removed from a fence, but the system normally leaves everybody happy. Sometimes, though, it needs tweaking. When Tommy’s live-in showgirl Yvette takes off for Vegas, leaving him with four cats and a mountain of debt to Vince Scanlon, he hires three buddies to steal some paintings he can turn around and recover for the Whitbread Museum. All of which would still be fine if the paintings weren’t hijacked before the thieves made it across the street. Now Tommy’s got the cops on his case, Vinny breathing down his neck and Gustav, a Russian in love with Yvette, breaking down his door, snatching the cats and leaving notes professing his eternal devotion to Yvette and his hostility toward Tommy. Worse, everybody Tommy talks to about the hijacking seems to get shot in the middle of the conversation because, as Tommy says about one hapless victim, “his chi was compromised.”

Wiprud (Feelers, 2009, etc.) whips up an unbeatable mix of violence, double-crossing, tantric-breathing exercises and deadpan aphorisms: “The truth is like a cat. If you want it to sit on your lap, you just have to stay long enough in the same room.”

Pub Date: June 8th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-60188-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2010


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