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by Eric Dezenhall

Pub Date: Jan. 9th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-34061-3
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

Pollster Jonah Eastman (Shakedown Beach, 2004, etc.) gets a job kissing a comeback king’s backside.

Bobby Chin was a child star and then a rock idol in the ’80s, but he can’t buy an audience for his latest act despite the efforts of his crack management team, former porn star Tic and disgraced proctologist Kadaborah. Media consultant Cindi Handler wants Bobby’s name and image bandied about 24/7. So when he can’t fill the little Golden Prospect Casino, gangster Mickey Price’s old stomping ground in Atlantic City, and rumors circulate that he’s died in a plane crash in the Pine Barrens, the public and the ACPD smell a publicity stunt. The scent grows stronger when Bobby reappears and is sequestered in his hotel suite. Through an outrageous misunderstanding, he hires Jonah, Mickey’s grandson, to find out what became of a vanished sculptor who’d been casting him in bronze. Despite allies like Chief Willie Thundercloud, stripper-turned-psychotherapist Mustang Sally and his elderly gangster pals, Jonah gets kidnapped twice, mugged once and lied to continually. When Bobby’s pushed off the tabloid pages by the Kaylee Hopewell abduction, Jonah can salvage his job only with lies and misgivings. Bobby will get his full-color spread but won’t live long enough to savor it.

A couple of suspect plot twists, but the jabs are first-rate. And who could resist one gangster named Doo-Wop and another operating out of an ice cream truck?