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Jimmy the Stick by Michael Mayo
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Jimmy the Stick (edition 2012)

by Michael Mayo

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Member:lostinalibrary
Title:Jimmy the Stick
Authors:Michael Mayo
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Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:hard boiled detective story, historical, gangsters, 1930s

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Jimmy the Stick by Michael Mayo

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Jimmy Quinn knows and has worked for all the big names in crime in NY but an accident while 'running' for Arnold Rothstein has left him crippled and earned him the nickname 'the stick'. Now he runs a quiet safe speakeasy in NY. It is 1932, and the Lindbergh kidnapping is the biggest crime story to hit the papers when Jimmy gets a call from his childhood friend, Spencer. Spence, who has married into an oil fortune, has to leave town and his wife is frantic that their baby will be kidnapped. Jimmy is a deft hand with a gun and Spence hires him to protect his son while he's away.

When Jimmy arrives at the Spencer home, Spence's wife seems frantic but, as soon as Spence leaves, she changes. Soon she is out every night partying with some very questionable friends and the baby seems the last thing on her mind. Something is definitely wrong in the Spencer household and soon Jimmy is caught up in a situation he's not sure he can control.

Jimmy the Stick is an homage to the hard boiled detective stories of the mid-20th century and, like those stories, this novel is more character than plot driven. Like the anti-heros of the early crime pulps, Jimmy is willing to work on either side of the law but he has his own strict moral sense which never falters. There is also the same black and white sense of reality to the book. Despite the fact that most of the characters are crooks and/or worse, there is a clear delineation between right and wrong - some people just deserve to be killed and left unmourned but kidnapping a child is beyond the pale.

Jimmy the Stick is the debut novel by author Michael Mayo and a pretty darned good debut it is. Fans of Spillane and Hammett or of historical detective fiction, this one's for you. ( )
  lostinalibrary | Nov 8, 2012 |
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Jimmy Quinn was a gunman, bootlegger, and bagman, running with mobsters the likes of Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, until a bullet in the leg and the murder of Arnold Rothstein ended his career. Quinn bought a speakeasy in downtown Manhattan and settled into a quiet retirement--until the day he learns that famous aviator Charles Lindbergh's baby has been kidnapped, and his old friend and partner Walter Spencer wants a word. Spence has left his criminal past behind, marrying into the Pennyweight family--of Pennyweight Petroleum--and settling into a legitimate lifestyle in rural New Jersey. Now Spence has business out of state, and with the Lindbergh kidnapping weighing on his mind, he wants Quinn to stay in his home and protect his family. A few days guarding Spence's beautiful wife should be easy work, but Quinn's old business is about to catch up with him, and he quickly finds that the Garden State can be even more dangerous than the streets of New York City.… (more)

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