In this jaunty follow-up to Big Numbers (2007), a scruffy stockbroker returns to tangle with mobsters, women and his own big mouth.
The good news, as the story opens, is that the hero is in the company of a gorgeous naked lady. The bad news is that she’s pointing a shotgun at him. It’s a typical predicament for Austin Carr, a semi-shady New Jersey financial professional temporarily in charge of Shore Securities while his boss is on vacation. But market fluctuations are the least of Carr’s worries. He’s being extorted into opening a money-laundering account for local crime boss Bluefish; an auditor who was investigating his company has turned up murdered; a fetching state police captain figures he’s the key to her organized-crime probe; and his boss’s mother has been picked up for fixing her church bingo game. Carr is continually getting into trouble over his weakness for breasts, his penchant for self-incriminating statements and his vestigial moral sensibility, which, like an appendix, makes itself felt at inconvenient times. On the plus side, he’s got his noble Mexican buddy Luis, a boyish grin for placating angry females, an occasional glimmer of perceptiveness and a stock salesman’s gift for closing the deal, even with people who are preparing to throw his weighted body into the ocean. The way to read this book is to let the hectic, Byzantine, dubiously motivated plot just roll over you without wondering much about who’s doing what to whom, or why. That way you can relax and enjoy Getze’s punchy dialogue and colorful characters–Bluefish’s henchman Max is an especially pungent creation–and his hilarious hangdog protagonist’s dissolute charm.
If Elmore Leonard had gotten a securities license, this is the book he might have written.