Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston

Henry “Hank” Thompson is a wash-up.  Years ago a promising high school baseball player in California, he now tends bar in Manhattan and still keeps himself reasonably in shape in spite of bad feet and a penchant for drinking binges – and as Caught Stealing begins, the bad luck of getting on the losing end of a fight. Not that he can’t hold his own; unfortunately his opponents are two Russian hitmen who work him over bad enough for him to lose a kidney.  And Hank’s troubles are just beginning.

All of a sudden, every imaginable hoodlum, oddball, and crooked cop has an interest in his apartment – something to do with a key hidden away in a carrier Hank has for the cat he agreed to take care of for a neighbor who’s been gone…well, inconveniently too long.  Several chases and body pile-ups later, Hank is a wanted man and potentially a much richer one, but what good is money when most of your friends are dead and your headshots are in all the newspapers?

Caught Stealing is a nervy, head-spinning tale of tense dialogue that punches hard from the start and doesn’t let up.  If your tastes in reading include the intrigues of mistaken identities and dangerous dealings, it’s likely this book will reel you in, but it’s not for the fainthearted.  In case this one’s 240 pages aren’t enough of a fix, there’s two more following in the series – Six Bad Things and A Dangerous Man.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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