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BRIDGER by James Patrick Hunt

BRIDGER

By James Patrick Hunt

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59414-861-3
Publisher: Five Star

A professional burglar falls afoul of criminals more criminal than he is.

Dan Bridger may be a thief, but he’s got his limits: “I don’t kill people. And I don’t work with people who do.” When the Westchester neurosurgeon he’s just robbed, after discovering his much younger wife downstairs entertaining a close personal friend, offers him $100,000 to kill both wife and friend, he demurs without hesitation. The Tessa crime family, however, sees Bridger as nothing more than a convenient scapegoat for the murder of a crooked Philadelphia judge they need to eliminate. Lured to the judge’s house by a bogus story of a fabulous coin collection, he’s knocked out and framed for the killing. But Nick Blanco, the Tessa capo who orchestrated the frame, has two problems. One is that his underlings have mistakenly killed the judge’s mistress instead of his wife, restaurateur Claire Laval. The other is that Bridger’s not the type to sit quietly and wait for the police to arrest him. Instead, he goes on the offensive, rescuing Claire from the hoods Blanco sends to kidnap and kill her, then hatching a plan to make Blanco pay for what he’s done to Bridger—or to shut his branch of the Tessa operation down for good.

The high-octane, high-casualty action sequences typical of Hunt (Maitland’s Reply, 2009, etc.) are balanced this time by some surprisingly tense dialogue scenes between Bridger and the wary woman he rescues. Only the ending, which cuts off the bloodbath without resolving half-a-dozen promising complications, is a letdown.