Five Star, Oct 6 2010, $25.95
In Kent, Washington, hit man Ted Snowe allows his targets to either die or accept a new ID for a fee. He has been very successful until the idiot mob enforcer Jimmy “Knuckles” Brutto is caught as Charles Abbott for being with an underage pair of boobs.
Ted’s neighbors Buster Hightower and Carla Chance help him hide while he plans his escape. The mob sends the Asp to kill Ted if he can identify him. The Asp starts with Knuckles’ grieving widow who mentions Ted by name because her ‘late” spouse said he recognized the hit man who once cost him a fortune betting on minor league basketball. Knuckle’s widow rushes to Kent to warn Ted and soon the two couples fly to Italy hoping to find Ted’s first hit who might be able to expedite him from this mess; Asp follows.
This is a zany over the top of the Cascades and the Dome of St. Peters, but is engaging fun with a refreshing premise of an extortionist hit man. The quartet is a solid group of eccentrics and Asp is certifiable with a traveling companion who was gunned down mob style in the 1950s; but he is not as stupid as some of Ted’s other dead men who foolishly surface alive. Readers will enjoy Gary Alexander’s wild caper as Ted shows he is the ultimate capitalist offering his targets a deal they can not afford to refuse.