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SHORTCUT MAN by P. G. Sturges Kirkus Star


by P. G. Sturges

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9417-1
Publisher: Scribner

The son of legendary filmmaker Preston Sturges debuts with the fast, funny, nostalgia-laden tale of a hero who slices through Gordian knots.

Dick Henry is the guy you go to when you’re snarled in red tape. Need to evict a tenant who won’t pay his rent, or get rid of a squatter who won’t fold his tent, without going through months of messy litigation? Henry’s your man. And he’s not just a hired thug, either. He’s happy to help Betty Fraiden protect her father, Franklin Tillman, from the Filipino woman he wants to bring to America to marry, even though she probably doesn’t exist except as a vacuum for Tillman’s savings. And he’s available to confirm porn producer Artie Benjamin’s fears that his wife is cheating on him. His very first day on the job, he discovers that Judy Benjamin is indeed conducting a torrid affair with Henry, who’s known her as Lynette the private-airline stewardess. But his further discovery that Judy, aka Lynette, has been a lot less private with her favors than with her coffee and tea leads the promising setup down a familiar, not very interesting road of multiple betrayals with violence, as Judy keeps swearing eternal loyalty to men about to die at her bidding. Will Henry be among them? Of course not.

This freelance vigilante fantasy is the first of a crime series most likely to appeal to movie buffs who wish the punchy dialogue from vintage film noir could be spiced with some serious sex.