THE BAGMAN by Peter Lacey


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A cocky double-cross story that begins when Maudie Morgan, a retired hit-man, is approached by Ronnie the Plank and asked to be a ""bagman"" for Billy Buxton. All Maudie has to do is deliver a valise to Fat Freddie Bigelow on Majorca, with blowsy Maggie Simpson along as his wife for cover. The valise blows up, however, Maudie barely manages to push Freddie out of its path; and the drug war is on: Fat Freddie and Maudie versus Billy and Ashraf, an Arab drug-dealer, who sells to whoever offers the most cash. Freddie finally dies, and Maudie is in deep trouble when his former landlady and romantic interest turns out to be Billy's wife, who helped set him up for the bagman scenario. Using ""the Plank,"" Maggie, and a secret operative, Maudie maneuvers Ashraf and Billy into position for the big blowout aboard the Lucy Diamond, rigging it to explode as they exchange their money for drugs. Having so resolutely burned his bridges behind him, Maudie and new love Maggie head to the Isle of Man and a new career managing a nice little hotel. Deftly plotted skulduggery, in a low-key British manner, with bittersweet tinges to Maudie and Maggie's very small aspirations for a happy life. An effective, small-scale mystery from the author of last year's The Limit (not reviewed).

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Doubleday