Ex-Fed Cole Springer (Springer’s Gambit, 2001, etc.) is back—and all over Las Vegas, bad guys are spinning their wheels.
How is it when Cole Springer’s around? Disorienting. “Like a movie,” a hard-pressed bottom-feeder complains, “one of those Tarantino things where too much was going on to follow.” And yet it all begins straightforwardly enough. Word reaches Springer in Aspen that Jesse Robinson, from back in the old days, has met an untimely end in Vegas. When Robinson’s father asks him to identify the body, quixotic Springer doesn’t hesitate. Never mind the negative history he’s racked up in that tumultuous town. Red Cavanaugh, a kingpin Vegas racketeer who detests him, has announced that the town isn’t big enough for both of them. Springer, never daunted by authority figures, ignores his threats of grievous bodily harm. But suddenly, Vegas is jam-packed with people who don’t favor Springs, as he’s known to friends and enemies alike. Among them are Don Janzen and his ex-wife, Diane, two other associates from the bad old days. Don is smart and tricky. Diane is beautiful and lethal. Both have convinced themselves that the sweet $15-million land scam they’re into will work like a charm once they persuade a certain ex-Fed to play nice.
Fast and lively. It’s refreshing indeed to see bad guys dance so helplessly to a good guy’s tune.