Putnam, Feb 2001, 24.95, 320 pp.
Miami builder John Deal wants to restore his deceased father's company to the hey days of the 1950s-1960s when Barton Deal was a major player in the construction boom. When John wins the bid on an advantageous government contract, he feels he has taken a large step back to what once was.
However, sometimes you get what you wish for, especially if one is not careful in what they ask. Tied to the contract is a shadowy individual claiming to be a Fed. The government arranged for Barton to befriend the local Mafia and subsequently provide information against the mob. Ultimately a pressured Barton killed a friend while his disloyalty to the Mafia led to his alleged suicide. John finds wearing his father's shoes pinch more than just his toes as history seems ready to repeat itself.
After waiting for two and a half years even with a well-written filler (BLACK MOUNTAIN), readers will rejoice in the return of John Deal. His latest adventure, DEAL WITH THE DEAD, is extremely complex as two major story lines in two different eras blend together into a fantastic plot. With superb plotting, fantastic characters, and the return of old friends, ultra talented author Les Standiford is trapped by how fantastic the Deal novels are. When he ventures outside of Deal, readers feel let down even if the book is better than just about everything else on the market. Well, no depression as this novel is the real deal for fans of suspense.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner