- Author: John Lansing
- Published: May 2016 by Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing
- Category: Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Retired Inspector Jack Bertolino gets his first taste of the erratic nature of Hollywood when A-list producer, George Litton, options one of Jack’s recent cases for a film.
Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.
During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows the Sanchez family and asks Jack to make some enquiries. As Jack’s investigation progresses the Dirk brothers’ names pop up too often for Jack’s liking and his ingrained cop’s instinct is on high alert.
Toby Dirk and his brothers, Sean and Terrence, dip into various illegal activities, including theft, drugs and money laundering, under the cover of their family retail store. As Jack follows a trail of bodies he’s drawn into the dark and dangerous world of drug cartels and street gangs, which all began with a murder committed with revenge in mind.
Unfortunately for Vegas, he’d set up Toby’s girlfriend, Eva Perez, for a nine-month stretch on trumped-up drug and weapons charges. She’d been out on parole for three months now, but she was changed. Damaged. Not the same free spirit. It broke Toby’s heart, and it fueled his rage.
Jealousy’s a bitch, he thought, and Vegas was about to pay the ultimate price. Three shots max, to make sure Vegas wouldn’t get up again. If all went according to plan, Toby would soon be paddling out into the Pacific, catching the late afternoon swells at Sunset Beach.
There’s a great cast of diverse characters, not least of which are the Dirk brothers, who make fabulous antagonists. The storylines and subplots are merged together beautifully in this tightly plotted and intriguing thriller. Written in the third person, it gives a good perspective from each of the main characters. John Lansing’s excellent portrayals, suspenseful and action-packed narrative are combined with snappy, realistic dialogue and clear, detailed imagery, including terrific descriptions of the locales…. and the food!
The pace builds quickly and the drama unfolds as details are revealed gradually with many surprises, and excitement, along the way. Jack and his colleagues have their work cut out to unravel the threads that connect everything together. It’s a gripping tale, ending with a volatile and tense climax. And one of the things I particularly enjoyed was the appearance of Jack’s ex-wife and his son, Chris, adding some humour to the storyline. I loved the previous Jack Bertolino books and this one more than lived up to expectations.
About John Lansing
John Lansing, started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease,” before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
John closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.”
John’s first book was “Good Cop Bad Money,” a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
“The Devil’s Necktie,” his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a best seller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre.
Lansing’s newest release is the short story, “The Test,” a coming of age tale set on Long Island in 1963 that deals with race, violence, social politics, and young love.
Jack Bertolino returns in John’s latest novel, “Dead Is Dead,” the third book in his detective series.
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.