THE BUNCE by Michael de Larrabeiti


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Mildly amusing caper/crime suspense from Britain . . . which begins when Billy Jay--a large and lusty swaggerer who greedily operates a first-rate audiovisual-show service (the narrator is one of Billy's downbeat employees)--happens to see, and be temporarily abducted by, the thieves who just stole a fortune in gems from Heathrow Airport. With help from Billy's evidence, the cops nab the thieves; so Billy naturally claims the hefty insurance-reward money. But from that moment on, as Billy and his crew travel from city to city presenting an elaborate A-V show for a health-food/religion tycoon, threats and violence escalate--including the road-sabotage death of one of the crew. Who's behind it all? Just some con-artists who want a share of the reward money? Or ""The Bunce""--a Mafia-like secret organization (including many of Britain's policemen) that regards all reward monies as part of their regular cash flow? ""This whole thing's getting very Kafka,"" says the narrator. Well, not really. But the generally engaging and wry style here--with ribald touches in the Falstaffian character of Billy--helps to make up for the skimpy plotting; and the A-V show background (covered in some detail) adds to the low-key, offbeat appeal.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1981
Publisher: Doubleday