THE REWARD GAME by Gerald Hammond

THE REWARD GAME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A gruesome, lightheartedly complex caper in the Scottish lowlands--as rakish Keith Calder, reformed poacher and expert gunsmith, drags himself and saucy wife Molly (""Fat Bum"") into perilous chases and scams with gangsters, coppers, and corpses. It all begins when a body turns up in Keith's car, but is then weirdly stolen from the car--by culprits who leave Keith seriously bashed. Could this be connected to the case of local toff John Galloway, who's just been arrested for embezzlement of still-missing monies? Yes indeed. Keith slowly figures out that: Galloway spent half of his loot on diamonds; the stones, secreted in an antique gun, were being courier-ed by that dead man; and the gun went off, embedding a fortune in gem-bullets in that body! So now assorted thugs (who rough Keith and Molly up) are after the body, trying to sneak it out of the police-saturated area. . . while Keith and some chums, out for reward money, are determined to stop them. And these good guys also have a simultaneous scheme (involving phone calls and recording equipment) to locate and retrieve the half of the loot that's still in cash . . . and in the hands of a ruthless gang chief. Rather farfetched and talky, with a hero who's only half-likable (thanks to chauvinist pigdom and casual adultery)--but the best of the repartee is dourly amusing, the grisly touches are comically matter-of-fact, and the whole tangled romp has a what-ho!, outdoorsy energy that's undeniably appealing.

Pub Date: Dec. 12th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's