NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Richard Parrish


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 Joshua Rabb, a transplanted Brooklynite lawyer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the 1940s, is the only person who can understand the Yiddish ramblings of the survivor of an execution on one of the Papago reservations outside Tucson. That's how Rabb (Versions of the Truth, 1994, etc.) ends up in the crossfire between Meyer Lansky, the New York mobster who keeps trying to raise the money to keep cash-strapped Vegas visionary Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo Hotel alive, and Frank Costello, top capo of the New York Commission (represented locally by Joe Bonanno), who wants to bankrupt Siegel so he can muscle in on a bigger slice of the Flamingo pie. Lansky keeps sending mules to set up a Mexican heroin deal on Siegel's behalf; somebody (Costello? Bonanno? some ambitious lieutenant?) keeps killing them. It's all too complicated for a simple family man like Rabb, who wants nothing more than to go on supplementing his meager BIA income by building his private practice (latest indigent client: a Papago high-school kid accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a girl who wouldn't go out with him; his defense is that the killer was the girl's father, who'd been abusing her for years) and making a home for his teenage daughter, Hanna (latest romantic interests: Lansky's son Buddy and Bonanno's son Bobby). Tangling with real-life 1947 gangsters gives dogged Rabb's crusades a new edge and resonance--but also a license for the wholesale violence and overwrought heroics Parrish presents so often and so unconvincingly. Save this one for your beach bag.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1995
ISBN: 0-525-93852-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995


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