Kirkus Reviews QR Code
RUNAWAY MAN by David Handler


by David Handler

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-250-01162-6
Publisher: Minotaur

Introducing private eye Benji Golden, part nebbish, part mensch, who’s surrounded by women with bountiful racks and wriggly tushes.

Abby Golden, boss of Golden Legal Services since the death of her husband, Meyer, used to be known as Abraxas, the only Jewish pole dancer in New Yorker. Her assistant, Lovely Rita of the massive mammaries, is a former lap dancer who took up computers to keep herself busy while her husband, Clarence, does a stretch in Rahway State Prison. Twenty-something Benji, called Bunny by his mom, Abby, has long eyelashes, a bashful manner, a baby face and a frame so insignificant that he can tail suspects up close without being made. When Peter Seymour, partner in the high-toned law firm of Bates, Winslow and Seymour, needs help in locating Canterbury College student Bruce Weiner because an anonymous benefactor has willed Bruce big bucks, Benji lands the case. With a brief time out for shtupping the curvaceous Sonya, a young lady he bumped into at shul, Benji locates Bruce, but someone’s gotten there first with a Glock. Why kill Bruce? Perhaps to force his lover, basketball phenom Charles “In Charge” Willingham, to stay in the closet. Bruce’s little sister Sara, who has a big crush on Benji, shares some family secrets with him but not quickly enough. Benji is shot at. Others die. And there are tawdry revelations about the Kidd family, which includes a starchy matriarch, a suicidal daughter and a son who may be stymied in his run for governor. There’s more shtupping, more murder, one plot twist that most readers will see coming and another that will surprise everyone but Lovely Rita.

So what if Handler, best known for his Berger and Mitry series (The Blood-Red Indian Summer, 2011, etc.), isn’t the keenest plotter in the genre? He definitely knows his way around adorable, cute and schmaltzy.