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Death's Little Helpers (John March Mysteries)by 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.)
"[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
"[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
"Second novels in a promising series must be among the hardest literary tricks to pull off...Spiegelman has done it with stunning skill.
"This is a classic private-eye novel, a head-clearing treat that reminds a reader of everything that a good PI novel can do. But Peter Spiegelman's John March is also his own man and his take on New York is decidedly, refreshingly modern." Laura Lippman, author of By a Spider's Thread and Every Secret Thing
"Death's Little Helpers is a multi-layered novel of compassion and power. Crackling dialogue, a plot that just won't quit, and a melancholy that is pure noir. Blistering, driven narrative from a writer at the very top of his game." Ken Bruen, author of The Killing of the Tinkers and The Guards
"Mordant, action-packed [and] knowledge-filled....Breaks new ground in detective fiction....A bang-up novel." The Washington Post
"[An] elegantly written thriller....A stylish take on the perennial private-eye tale." The Wall Street Journal
"A fine story told well [that ends] with a satisfying bang. March is a man to watch." Daily News
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.
In this masterful follow-up to Peter Spiegelman's stunning debut Black Maps, private investigator John March finds himself drawn into a web of corruption that extends from the halls of high finance to the dark underworld of organized crime.
Gregory Danes, a Wall Street analyst has gone missing, and his ex-wife, a fashionable painter, calls March to track him down. She just wants him to sign her alimony checks, but as March soon discovers, she's not the only one looking for him. Danes was once an industry hot shot, but has lost his touch. His biggest gains lately, it seems, had been in enemies — including a few members of the Russian mob. When March receives a threat upon his own family, he realizes Danes had been involved in something far more dangerous than insider trading.
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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