THE BIG SCAM by Paul Lindsay


A Novel of the FBI
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Beneath all the feints and double-crosses, Lindsay’s sixth (Traps, 2002, etc.) is a tale of trouble among two competing crews.

Global Fish is the codename for Nick Vanko’s FBI squad specializing in surveillance. Nick’s cowboys, castoffs and misfits contributed have always lived close to the edge individually and collectively. Now Bernard E. Dreagen, the assistant head of the New York office, intends to push them over by using his old buddy Charles Lansing, an FBI inspector looking for irregularities. Even without Lansing’s probe, there’d be plenty of trouble for Global Fish. No matter how many coups he counts, Jack Straker can’t keep himself or his partner Howard Snow out of trouble. Bradley Kenyon, the new guy who’s come over from art theft, insists he’s not gay, but his colleagues are nervous. And Sheila Burkhart, the newest arrival at Global Fish, can’t get her mind off young Suzie Castillo, whose killer she’s convinced is still active in East Harlem. These family squabbles are mirrored on the other side of the law by the latest round of infighting within the Galante family. Nobody trusts crew chief Mike Parisi, who got his job by marrying the boss’s niece. Underboss Danny DeMiglia is trying to turn disgraced FBI agent Garrett Egan. When dimwitted soldier Manny Baldovino comes into possession of a map purporting to show the location of legendary gangster Dutch Schultz’s buried treasure, the hunt is on—not to find the treasure, but to see who can fool and humiliate the other team, and the rest of the home team, most comprehensively.

Despite some wonderful episodes—a dog who plays blackjack, an ex-con who makes his own license plates—the plotting is too scattershot to hit the target in a story that might better have been titled Scams R Us.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7432-5000-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2005


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