MONEY MEN and ONE-SHOT DEAL by Gerald Petievich


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Two short novels featuring a ""T-Man,"" Los Angeles-based US Treasury Agent Charles Carr--not mysteries, but old-fashioned crime yarns alternating focus between bad guys and good guys. In Money Men, Carr tracks down a pair of excons who set up deals to sell counterfeit bills, then kill their buyers (an undercover T-man has died this way). There are some nice grisly moments--e.g., the villain ripping the money-belt off his blood-covered victim--but the story's flat and predictable, with the bad guys killing each other off. Better is One-Shot Deal, in which a slick con artist and his moll steal genuine US currency paper (by seducing a Treasury printing-plant worker), blackmail a banker into lending them a $100,000 bill, engage old forger Roth to print up a dozen undetectable copies of the big bill, and try an international-finance hoax to cash in the fake currency. A diverting scam--foiled, of course, by Cart (though, again, the bad guys all kill each other, or themselves). Good gritty dialogue, some convincingly detailed modern legwork--serviceable, pulp-ish entertainment for readers who don't mind mechanical plotting and (despite assorted love affairs and intra-Treasury wrangles) a faceless hero.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1981
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich