Quiet Storm, 2003, 22.95
Just released from prison, Archibald Green notices the parallels between freedom and jail, but the former sting artist vows to be a new man although he observes appalling lies or at least illusions of truth. Then again working as a bored telemarketer for a nasty employer at Earthly Goods Incorporated in Darwin, Maryland will make a cynic out of a saint.
A lifetime of either fence (jail or picket) seems too torturous to Archie so he decides that there will be no more TWO BITS scams, but to go for one big dollar con. His target is superego millionaire mob boss Pat Shannon not just because of the money but also because of a family revenge matter. Since Pat wants to star in pictures, Archie pretends to be a movie producer, setting the game afoot.
As this reviewer read TWO BITS, the movie The Sting came to mind, but not just the mob and the con connection. Like that superb movie, this wonderful novel is amusing, at times gritty and definitely darker than the film, and stars a delightful assortment of Runyonesque characters. Still in the end Clint Gaige's strong tale peels down to Archie and Pat, opponents who make for a fine gambol for readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner