This was the first Thomas Perry novel I’ve read, and it moved up my TBR list specifically because I needed a yellow book for CBR bingo.
I was expecting ‘detective novel’ but this is more of a ‘thriller’- the detective, Lieutenant Slosser, is a bit part character who takes a backseat to the dueling main characters, aging strip club owner Manco Kapak, the man Manco thinks robbed him, Joe Carver, and the man who actually robbed him, Jefferson Davis Falkins. While Manco is busy sending henchmen around Los Angeles in search of Joe, Jefferson is coming up with new and increasingly risky ways to rob Manco. All three characters are written somewhat sympathetically, and as the stakes and violence escalate, I was rooting for all of them (to greater or lesser degrees- order would be Joe, Manco, Jefferson).
My overall verdict was meh- I was interested enough to keep reading and see how it would play out but I wasn’t always looking forward to picking it up (bingo square was the real motivator). There were a lot of side plots and side characters that added bulk but not necessarily interest. I also didn’t love the lack of sympathetic women characters. Aside from strippers and drug mules, Perry only fleshed out two women- both conniving, one psychopathic. The plot isn’t good enough to make up for the Bechdel test fail.