James Patrick Hunt
Five Star, May 6 2011, $25.95
Affluent New York City antiques dealer Max Glendenning offers his Chicago based peer Evan Maitland with a deal the latter cannot refuse. Glendenning explains that he was working a deal to purchase a matching chair to one he owns worth a million each. Knowing Maitland was a former cop and bounty hunter as well as an antique expert, he wants Evan to travel to London to track down the chair stolen just before the deal was completed.
The vicious gangster brothers Ian and Ken Shivers believe Maitland is in town to pull a stunt on a deal they made with Windy City mobsters to sell million in stolen bearer bonds. The siblings frame Maitland for murder, which has the mob and the cops searching for him. On his own he must prove his innocence and turn the table on the ruthless brothers who bring shivers to anyone who knows of them even the police.
Tropospheric over the top of Big Ben, this is a fun mistaken identity caper as the hero and the adversarial siblings come across as satirical noir. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the readers meet the Shivers brothers who believe the Chicago visitor is scamming them so send their minion to get him; Maitland's Reply is to fight back. Their confrontation makes for an exciting entertaining but improbable thriller.