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Dutch Uncle (Hard Case Crime Book 12) by…
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Dutch Uncle (Hard Case Crime Book 12) (edition 2011)

by Peter Pavia (Author)

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1662127,997 (3.48)1 / 3
When a drug dealer is murdered in a Miami Beach hotel, the lives of four small-time crooks and one dogged police investigator get intertwined, with deadly consequences…
Member:jkrzok
Title:Dutch Uncle (Hard Case Crime Book 12)
Authors:Peter Pavia (Author)
Info:Hard Case Crime (2011), 255 pages
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Dutch Uncle by Peter Pavia

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
Florida is a frequent locale for crime stories, but the fact that Pavia uses Florida as his locale doesn't mean he's a copycat. This tale stands on its own merit. It takes the reader to a more recent world of Miami Beach, a world of endless beaches and wannabe models looking for an agent to set them up, a world of parolees who can't land a real job, a world of cocaine dealers and addicts, a world of ripoffs and backstabbers, and Barroom brawls, and the pounding beat coming from dozens of nightclubs.
This book, Dutch Uncle, is the real deal. Harry came down to Florida with a seemingly rich girlfriend who he never hears from again after a bar brawl lands him six months in County. Upon getting out, he thinks about playing it straight but he needs the cash a few quick deliveries for the Dutch Uncle, Manfred, can pay off. Harry didn't bargain on getting caught up in murder. Leo set him up with this deal but Leo has his hands full with Vicki who doesn't like to wear clothes and never leaves the house and two good old boys he sends to do his dirty work. As the body count grows, the police start focusing on Harry and Leo. Detective Martinson is a character in his own right and Lili Acevedo is like Angie Dickinson returning as Jennifer Lopez in tight beige suits. Pavia gets the cool beat of Miami Beach just right. Terrific reading and truly a worthwhile addition to the Hard Case Crime series. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Fresh out of jail, Harry Healy bumps into old cell-mate Leo Hannah. Leo offers Harry a job delivering some cocaine. Harry'd been hoping to play it straight, but the job seems too easy to pass up.

Things go smooth (well, smooth enough for a drug deal anyway) until Harry returns to find the supplier, Manfred Pfiser (the Dutch Uncle of the title) dead. Figuring he's been set up, Harry hoofs it and all sorts of complications ensue.

The book is set in Florida and Peter Pavia excels at capturing the atmosphere of the place. The sunshine, the fashions, clubs, dives, models, gangsters, drugs and quirky weirdos are all here and presented well. There were tons of little, off-hand details of life in Florida and various criminal activities worked into the narrative that made me feel that Pavia knew the scene he was describing. He could be way off the mark, but to an outsider like me, the details rang true and gave the book an added depth.

I loved the author's voice. Though the book is written in the third person, Pavia injects personality and wry observations into the narrative, occasionally giving it a first person flavor. This might sound like it would be distracting, but it works very well, giving the writing real personality.

The characters had some depth to them. Well, at least Harry and the officer, Martinson did. None of the characters were likeable, but then again this is a crime story, so they don't have to be. The characters were all at least believable.

On the downside, the author had a habit of going off on tangents. Though they would usually relate back to the story, sometimes it felt like he was indulging himself. In a reversal of a typical crime novel setup, this story begins with a single narrative that diverges in to three separate storylines, following Harry, Leo and detective Martinson. Each story was interesting, but it never felt like the book was really going anywhere. This, I think, is the book's biggest sin. It lacked tension. A driving force that would push me to keep picking up the book. It didn't feel like a Hard Case Crime book at all.

The book was exceptionally well written. I would definitely give Peter Pavia another chance. It's almost worth reading just for the Florida vibe it so effortlessly gives off. However it is also the weakest of the Hard Case Crime books I've yet read. ( )
  jseger9000 | May 23, 2011 |
Showing 2 of 2
This crime chuckler wears its Elmore Leonard influence on its cover: "Dutch" is Leonard's nickname.... Pavia, coauthor of The Other Hollywood, an "oral history" of the porn industry, redraws the hard-boiled boundaries of the Hard Case Crime line a bit to include this offbeat diversion in the style of Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, and Charles Willeford's Hoke Moseley books. He's not quite as good as those guys, but he's pretty close.
added by jseger9000 | editAmerican Library Association, Keir Graff
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Paviaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Farrell, R. B.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Strolling Ocean Avenue on his third day of parole, Harry Healy ran into Leo, whose last name he didn't learn the weekend they threw Leo in his cell, at a sidewalk cafe sipping espresso.
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When a drug dealer is murdered in a Miami Beach hotel, the lives of four small-time crooks and one dogged police investigator get intertwined, with deadly consequences…

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Three days out of prison and trying to stay on the right side of the law, Harry Healy doesn’t really want to get involved with Manfred Pfiser’s drug deals. But he needs the money – so he agrees to make one simple delivery.

Simple, that is, till Harry stumbles across a dead body, the result of a robbery cooked up by an old cellmate of his together with a former high school baseball star, a trigger-happy sociopath, and a beach bunny who can’t seem to keep her clothing on.

Now they’re all on the run – from the Miami police, from the drug kingpins they ripped off, and from each other…
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