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Death's Little Helpers: A John March Novelby Peter Spiegelman
Synopses & Reviews
From Peter Spiegelman, author of the award-winning Black Maps ("A stunner, a great debut roaring out of the gate" — Newsday), a relentlessly exciting, masterfully written new thriller featuring New York City private investigator John March.
This time March has been hired to find missing Wall Street analyst Gregory Danes. Once ubiquitous on television, Danes's star went into steep decline along with the stock market: now he's best known for his volatile temper and his obsession with restoring his tattered reputation.
His ex-wife, a fashionable painter, wants to know why the alimony checks have stopped arriving. But what appears to be a straightforward missing persons case quickly becomes something much more deadly. March unearths a rat's nest of family strife, business betrayals, and deceptions, and finds that Danes left a long line of enemies in his troubled wake — some of whom are also hunting for the missing man.
March's investigation now takes on a terrifying urgency as it leads him through the corrupt corridors of white-collar crime and the underworld of the Russian mob, and into the more intricate maze of the human heart.
"Shamus-winner Spiegelman's intricate, intelligent second thriller to feature all-too-human New York PI John March (after 2003's Black Maps) explores skulduggery in the world of high finance. Nina Sachs, a high-strung Brooklyn artist, hires March to find her missing ex-husband, Gregory Danes, an arrogant stock analyst who became a media star during the last bull market. Sachs hates Danes, but he's the father of their teenage son and her primary money supply (alimony, child support). March uncovers a huge list of potential enemies: investors burned by Danes, a vindictive ex-mistress, a scary Russian mobster and a reclusive hedge fund manager. That someone else is also looking for Danes — someone with the resources to surveil March, his girlfriend and his extended family — adds to the suspense. Spiegelman makes all the details ring true, and his fine prose can be lyrical (a spring rain gives Manhattan 'a scrubbed, surprised look, like a drunk, waking up sober and in his own bed for the first time in a long time'). While the determined March has the requisite grit, he is also appealingly vulnerable and introspective. If it's hard to care too much about the victim, Spiegelman makes the search extremely compelling. Agent, Denise Marcil. (July 22)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] solidly crafted missing-persons mystery that doesn't bog down in spreadsheets. Happily, March's hunt for a telegenic stock analyst who has left behind an angry ex-wife and the Russian Mob is more Without a Trace than CNBC. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"[U]neven but ultimately satisfying....[A] canny, winning protagonist....The author...knows how to follow the money. But he also has a strong feel for human relationships, which proves an even bigger asset." Booklist
"[A] worthy sequel to [an] impressive debut....Spiegelman's dialogue does at times descend to talkiness, slowing the pace accordingly, but his is a serious talent that rewards interest now with better around the corner." Kirkus Reviews
"Second novels in a promising series must be among the hardest literary tricks to pull off...Spiegelman has done it with stunning skill.
Spiegelman, winner of the 2004 Shamus Award for Best First Novel for Black Maps, returns along with private investigator John March for this follow-up. Hired to find a missing Wall Street analyst, March soon unearths a rat's nest of family strife, business betrayals, and deceptions.
About the Author
Peter Spiegelman is a veteran of more than twenty years in the financial services and software industries, and has worked with leading financial institutions in major markets around the globe. Mr. Spiegelman is the author of Black Maps, which won the 2004 Shamus Award for Best First Novel. He lives in Connecticut.
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