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NYPD Detectives Anthony Ryan and Joe Gregory spend from Thanksgiving to Christmas trying to trace the loot from a botched airport robbery. The robbery, though it netted an estimated $3 million for the thieves, didn't go off as routinely as the crooks had expected; it was interrupted by air cargo handler Johnny Boy Counihan, whose bad timing in bursting in on the thieves, coupled with his mistake in wearing his retired father's old police jacket, cost him his life. Now Gregory, who was J.C. Counihan's partner before the old man retired, wants in on the case. Unfortunately, so does Johnny's grandfather, Vito Martucci. He's convinced that the brain behind the heist was Emil Lutz, the acknowledged king of airport crime, released from jail only three weeks before the robbery. And Martucci, though he's old enough to have voted for Harry Truman, is a loose cannon who makes legendary cowboy Gregory look positively restrained. In short order, Emil's number-two son, Rocky, is found in an airport parking lot, dead. Then Emil's cocktail lounge is firebombed. As the cops console Johnny's mother and ride around town swapping info with his obsessive grandfather, Ryan wonders if they have targeted the right guys, and if this spate of violence is Martucci's idea of investigative work--or the work of one of the thieves trying to protect himself against informants and beef up his share of the pot at the same time. Prowling a jungle of wiseguys, terrorists, two-bit stoolies, and sad mob wives, the hunters set a trap for their leading suspect; but the trigger-man's identity will catch them both off-guard. Though Dee's third lacks the dark complexity and furious energy of Bronx Angel (1995)--even the electricity between Ryan and Gregory seems strangely muted--the narrative is still quick, quirky, and ruminative, larded with knowing opinions about everything from cop bars to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 1997
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Warner