Beinhart sets his literary hook immediately. Here’s the first sentence: “The woman on the train asked me to kill someone.” How could any reader consider setting down a book with an opening line like that one? Impossible, no?
This book fits into that much beloved subgenre of crime novels in which the protagonists are criminals. Beinhart flips the typical detective trope on its rear in this fourth book in the series by transforming his investigator into a criminal. For a moment Cassella hesitates. When he thinks about all that money, he agrees to become a hitman.
Comedy ensues. He has been hired to arrange the demise of a very wealthy man who has a wandering eye. The woman on the train had had enough of her husband’s philandering. She and her rather bloodthirsty attorney friend recruit Cassella to snuff this libidinous Casanova.
They offer him one hundred thousand dollars, enough to save his house. He figures, one and done. One crime, then back to retirement. After the unfortunate accident which ends the life of the-easy-to-despise, Jeffrey Epstein-like husband, he planned to walk away.
Not so fast. The attorney has other ideas. She decides since Cassella’s so gifted at his new profession that she’s going to start a business taking out contracts to kill people. And guess what? That’s right, Tony C. is going to be her guy who completes the work.
He doesn’t like the new business enterprise one bit. He’s got to figure a way out of this. Comedy continues to ensue. We also learn how the low budget film “Wag the Dog” which cost only $20 million to make and grossed $40 million right away earned the writer exactly nothing. They call them monkey points. Not funny. At all.
Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at email@example.com.