Harry Arno runs a South Miami Beach gambling operation. To protect his position, he was forced to cut a deal with the local muscle, Jimmy Capotorto (Jumbo Jimmy Cap), an even fifty-fifty split. For years Harry had been padding his own stake by skimming off the top. Now a couple of local detectives - wise to sticky fingers - try to bag Jimmy by ...
Harry Arno runs a South Miami Beach gambling operation. To protect his position, he was forced to cut a deal with the local muscle, Jimmy Capotorto (Jumbo Jimmy Cap), an even fifty-fifty split. For years Harry had been padding his own stake by skimming off the top. Now a couple of local detectives - wise to sticky fingers - try to bag Jimmy by putting the squeeze on Harry. U.S. Marshalls deliver Harry to court to testify at Jimmy's trial. Even though he's a step slower than he used to be, Harry's no fool - he slips out of the country pronto. With Jimmy Cap's men following and the Feds close behind, the three sides end up in Italy, watching their own backs while keeping abreast of Harry's. But it's not until the chase leads back to Miami that the real winners and losers are revealed ...
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-08-16 From sly title through breath-stopping climax to funny wrap-up, readers will relish Leonard's ( Maximum Bob ) latest roller coaster ride. South Miami Beach bookie Harry Arno has been skimming from his mafia bosses for years. After a ruthless FBI man spreads a rumor to that effect, in an attempt to get Harry to testify against his boss, ``Jimmy Cap,'' the 66-year-old bookie splits early on his long-planned retirement in Rapallo, Italy. Rapallo is soon mobbed, so to speak, as Harry is joined by his girlfriend, his new bodyguard, Jimmy Cap's Italian-born enforcer ``the Zip,'' a handful of Italian thugs and a deputy U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens. All engage in a deadly dance before Raylan manages to get most of the good guys back to Miami, where the dance begins again. Leonard's spare language and propulsive plotting still leave room for expositions of Sicilian slang, gamblers' lingo and Ezra Pound's private life. His colorful characters work together splendidly, especially the top trio: Harry, whose drinking, posturing and willfulness endanger everybody; the lethal Zip, who models himself, literally, on Frank Costello; and Raylan, whose Stetson and apparent goofiness mask a hard past in bloody Harlan County, Ky. The only problem with the book is that it ends. BOMC and QPB selection; major ad/promo; author tour. (Oct.)
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