ANY MAN'S DEATH by Loren D. Estleman


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Busy but lackluster Mob-warfare in Detroit--as assorted hit-men undertake crisscrossing assignments, yet without the irony, tension, or excitement that sometimes redeems such shoot-'em-up mÉlanges. Peter Macklin (Kill Zone, Roses Are Dead), though no longer a Mob employee, agrees--for $20,000--to rub out Mob upstart Carlo Maggiore, who has tried to replace Mike Boniface as top mobster; the attempt fails, however (thanks to Carlo's unique anatomy), as do Maggiore's similar assaults on Boniface. Meanwhile, for convoluted, unpersuasive reasons, Boniface has hired Macklin's 17-year-old son Roger (a killer prodigy) to kill black tycoon-preacher Thomas Sunsmith--who's campaigning against the legalization of casino gambling in Detroit. Meanwhile, too, rich, sexy widow Carmen Thalberg hires Macklin Sr. to kidnap Rev. Sunsmith--to teach him a lesson for trying to defraud the investors (like Carmen) in his secretly profitable church. And Boniface's top lieutenant is prepared to do some killing himself, if necessary. Unfortunately, Estleman fails to give this hectic, contrived scenario any discernible pattern or point. Characterization, too, aside from a few minor vignettes, is limp--with the impassive Macklins registering as outtakes from an old Charles Bronson movie. Overall, then: unpleasant and uninvolving.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1986
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux