SHOOT THE MOON by Joseph T. Klempner


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 Think it would be fun to be sitting on top of something worth a cool $5 million? Not when the something is primo heroin. The heroin came with the pink Camry Michael Goodman rented in Fort Lauderdale--not the Camry designated for him, of course, but one that had been reserved for (ahem) somebody else. And he'd be perfectly willing to turn it in to the cops--he takes considerable trouble to do so--if only they wouldn't make it so hard, and he weren't running out of money (he's an unemployed bookkeeper), and his six-year-old daughter Kelly hadn't come down with a worrisome series of headaches that have sent her into the hospital for ever more dire tests. So when Goodman heads back to New York, it's with two duffel bags full of dynamite H and an enemies list that includes (1) the Florida hoods he inadvertently ripped off; (2) the NYPD; and (3) the DEA. Luckily, he's protected by Kelly, a stray cat, and Carmen Pacelli, a street- savvy prostitute who turns up on his doorstep. In other words, Goodman, as his name suggests, is armored with nothing but shining innocence. In particular, he's cast as a blissfully ignorant Road Runner to the canny authorities, whose armory of high-tech entrapment gear (phone taps, room bugs, a formidably equipped mobile unit) and eagerness to break every rule in the book to bust him keep getting torpedoed by their escalating incompetence, as if all that technology had been provided by the same Acme Co. that's been supplying Wile E. Coyote all these years. Readers who root for the good guys will enjoy the special challenge posed by Goodman, too nice to do time for dealing (so he can't be caught) but too principled to make a killing from selling heroin (so he can't get away). Anybody who can overlook the just-for-my-sick-girl plea will enjoy watching Klempner (Felony Murder, 1995) rescue his hero as charmingly as Donald E. Westlake.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-15424-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1997


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