SAND DOLLARS by Robert Terrall


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Ingenious comedy-melodrama with a plot like the long-form family tax plan. The hero is half-honest Ben Barton, a wizardly tax consultant for an over-the-hill English singer and some touring British rock stars, whose zillion-dollar earnings don't quite square with the tickets sold at the box offices. Ben's cleverness comes to the attention of the Mafia (they employ some of Ben's show-biz clients in their Las Vegas swankeries), and Don Aldo De Angelis invites Ben to settle permanently on a sunny Caribbean isle and help out with the finances of a new casino, a dodge for fronting the big (Sicilian) millions that Don Aldo wants to salt away after varied laundry procedures. Ben thinks this is a hair-raisingly illegal arrangement and refuses the Don pointblank, in a masterfully funny scene in a N.Y. Mafia restaurant whose high-intensity silence is matched only by its liquefying expensiveness. The Don (""Mr. D."") decides to work a little scare on Ben and establish a steel tie between them. But the accountant turns into a raging genius whose counterscams bring him great castles of Caribbean sand dollars which, like the Maltese falcon, are the stuff that dreams are made on. Bluechip humor that could be converted (and condensed) into a glorious screen gem. Cheerful chicanery, pocket-calculator-sized.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's