CROOKED MAN by Tony Dunbar


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 Everybody thinks New Orleans lawyer Tubby Dubonnet knows where to find the $950,000 the DEA missed when they caught Tubby's client Darryl Alvarez unloading bales of marijuana from a vanished boat. And everybody's right: The money is in a gym bag Darryl left with Tubby just before two guys with big guns paid him a final visit. What to do with a cool million that's red hot, sought by the police, the Mob, and the rogue cops who'd leaned on Darryl's girlfriend Monique for inside information about the drop? That's the main story here, and when first-novelist Dunbar bothers to check in on it, it's a humdinger. All too often, though, Tubby's making time with his drinking buddies, his daughters, or his disreputable clients--the sharp-eyed divorcÇe on the lookout for a fatter alimony check, the transvestite entertainer who's suing the plastic surgeon who botched his (her?) skin-darkening operation, or the surgeon himself, who recommended Tubby to the entertainer (``I'm much more comfortable with you doing it than one of those ambulance-chasers out there''). This tawdry crowd, entertaining as it is, ends up running away with the book, although it's great to see Tubby blowing $48,000 on a blissful afternoon at the mall and then finding an inspired hiding place for the rest of the loot. Flip, lazy, and purringly amoral, like Elmore Leonard on Valium. Tubby and his town are fine company, but even the easiest mouthpiece in the Big Easy ought to have a tighter plot than this.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1995
ISBN: 0-399-13973-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1994


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