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The Walkawayby Scott Phillips
Synopses & Reviews
The crime was unintentional and had no witnesses. The guilty could flee the scene, dispose of the body, keep the cash, and simply walk away. But actions have consequences. And even the most perfectly executed "walkaway" is followed by a shadow...
On a snowy Christmas morning in 1979, Gunther Fahnstiel, travelling with his wife, accidentally backed his RV over a stranger, killing him instantly. In the poor soul's car was a satchel containing plane tickets, a .22 caliber pistol, a bottle of Johnnie Walker, and more money than Gunther had ever seen in his life. For the debt-ridden old couple, it would indeed be a merry Christmas. But nobody can buy a happy ending. Especially Gunther.
Ten years later, under the scorching summer sun, seventy-seven-year-old Gunther walks away from his nursing home and sets off to find the hidden money. But he is not alone: hot on his trail is a former captain of the Wichita police, who is piecing together clues for two unsolved murders; a two-timing, whore-loving local developer, who sees dollar signs if the coot is captured; Gunther's stepson, a former bouncer turned businessman whose curiosity is peaked by his mother's creative accounting; and that very same mother (a.k.a. Gunther's wife), who risks her husband's safety to keep their secret.
As the journey unfolds and the mercury climbs, another story emerges of a U.S. soldier returning to Wichita in 1952 under an assumed name to seek vengeance on his estranged wife. The young patrolman out to protect her is none other than Gunther Fahnstiel, whose actions will reverberate in the lives of all involved nearly half a century later.
Cops on the take, jealous husbands with scores to settle, hookers scratching by, cranky curmudgeons, assorted misfits, and a ugly whore named Beulah — all play intricate roles in The Walkway. With the same flair for dark humor and crime noir that heralded his bestselling debut, Scott Phillips returns with another accomplished novel of deceit, treachery, and old-fashioned greed.
"The expansive story, which substitutes dozens of subplots for the irresistible momentum of The Ice Harvest, couldn't be more different....After such a pair of tours de force, it's hard to imagine what Phillips will come up with next." Kirkus Reviews
"In what's identified as 'both a prequel and a sequel' to The Ice Harvest, Phillips pens a story full of blood and bad attitude." Publishers Weekly
"When it comes to present-day practitioners of noir, Phillips is one of the best....Powerfully mixing corruption with an overlay of dark humor, this new novel invites comparison to the work of Charles Willeford and James Ellroy." Library Journal
"[A]bsorbing but hard-to-classify....Readers familiar with The Ice Harvest...will especially appreciate this second novel...but the author's dark humor and well-constructed web of interrelated characters allow the book to stand on its own." Booklist
"Unfortunately, with The Walkaway, Phillips gets tricky. He has retained the same mordantly ironic, seedy-Midwestern milieu but abandoned the simplicity that permitted The Ice Harvest to pick up such a high level of torque." Dallas Morning News
"[Phillips is] a page-turning plotter with a refreshing way with character....This is made-for-the-movies fiction (or perhaps more accurately, made-for-TV), but from the moment Gunther hits the road seeking a cache of cash, the reader is hooked." Book Magazine
In this steamy follow-up to his award-winning crime noir debut, The Ice Harvest, Phillips unravels another accomplished tale of deceit, treachery, and old-fashioned greed.
Gunther Fahnstiel escapes his nursing home to find a suitcase of money hidden ten years ago, but he's got a detective trying to piece together clues from two unsolved murders and others on his trail.
About the Author
Scott Phillips is the author of the national bestseller The Ice Harvest, which was a finalist for the Hammett Prize, the Edgar Award, and the Anthony Award, as well as a New York Times Notable Book. He was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and lived for many years in France. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Southern California.
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