This fifth larcenous adventure for Junior Bender (Herbie’s Game, 2014, etc.) is aptly described in the closing Author’s Note as “a show-business book that [is] essentially all burglaries. Plus Suley.”
Suley, whom you probably know as Tasha Dawn, is the starlet Hollywood producer Jeremy Granger insisted on pushing into the lead role of the charmless zombie TV series Dead Eye and carried off to the hymeneal altar. Now the romance has gone south, and Granger wants Junior to break into the home they still share, steal a list of goodies headed by a Turner oil painting that he doesn’t want to share with Tasha, and help himself to anything else that takes his fancy. The job doesn’t appeal to Junior, who’d rather not deal with the producer everyone calls King Maybe because he delights in letting projects languish in development hell in order to bring his enemies to heel and who’s not crazy enough to attack a target equipped with state-of-the-art anti-burglary equipment, even with the homeowner’s blessing. But Junior’s in no position to refuse. His attempt to steal a ridiculously valuable postage stamp from a debt collector dubbed the Slugger, after his weapon of choice, has left targets on the backs of him and his current girlfriend/accomplice, Ronnie Bigelow—if that’s even her name—and more than fresh funding, he needs fresh allies who can keep the Slugger and his minions at bay. The stakes are so high that Junior can scarcely find any time for what he considers his most pressing business: rescuing his 13-year-old daughter, Rina, from the frenemy who’s determined to break up her budding romance with heartthrob Tyrone.
Junior’s sixth sense keeps warning him that he’s being set up, and it’s on the money every single time. Fans who don’t mind his ritualistically repeated failures will eat up his adventures among Hollywood types whose moral senses are even more primitive than his.