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Crashed (Junior Bender #1)
INTRODUCING JUNIOR BENDER, THE FAVORITE BURGLAR-TURNED-
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR OF HOLLYWOOD CROOKS
Junior Bender is a Los Angeles burglar with a magic touch. Since he first started breaking into houses when he was fourteen years old, he’s never once been caught. But now, after twenty-two years of an exemplary career, Junior has been blackmailed by Trey Annunziato, one of the most powerful crime bosses in LA, into acting as a private investigator on the set of Trey’s porn movie venture, which someone keeps sabotaging. The star Trey has lined up to do all that’s unwholesome on camera is Thistle Downing, America’s beloved child star, who now lives alone in a drug-induced stupor, destitute and uninsurable. Her starring role will be the scandalous fall-from-grace gossip of rubber-neckers across the country. No wonder Trey needs help keeping the production on track.
Junior knows what that he should do—get Thistle out and find her help—but doing the right thing will land him on the wrong side of LA’s scariest mob boss. With the help of his precocious twelve-year-old daughter, Rina, and his criminal sidekick, Louie the Lost (an ex-getaway driver), Junior has to figure out a miracle solution.
About the Author
Timothy Hallinan is the Edgar- and Macavity-nominated author of thirteen widely praised books, including The Fear Artist, Crashed, Little Elvises, and The Fame Thief. After years of working in Hollywood, television, and the music industry, he now writes fulltime. He divides his time between California and Thailand.
Praise for Crashed (Junior Bender #1)…
Praise for Crashed
"If you're looking for a mystery with a fresh new hero then you'll want to run right out and get this book. It's just fabulous. If you have a plane to take, then this is the book to grab."
—NPR's Morning Edition
"Loved loved loved Crashed, Tim Hallinan's first Junior Bender mystery. Great narrative voice, complex plot, 3-D characters. Hallinan’s deft comic tone and colorful characters have earned him comparisons to Donald Westlake and Carl Hiaasen. Check it out now."
"Junior Bender is today’s Los Angeles as Raymond Chandler might have written it. Tim [Hallinan] is a master at tossing out the kind of hard-boiled lines that I wish I thought of first."
—Bruce DeSilva, Macavity & Edgar Award-winning author of Rogue Island
"Timothy Hallinan’s affable antihero, an accomplished thief but inept sleuth named Junior Bender, makes a terrific first impression in Crashed . . . Bender’s quick wit and smart mouth make him a boon companion on this oddball adventure."
—The New York Times
"A fresh turn on Raymond Chandler... In Crashed, Hallinan's fabulously convoluted, wise-guy detective potboiler featuring Bender, the California author's voice — intelligent, sarcastic, profane but never coarse, unfailingly honest — is like a fast ride over a potholed road in a vintage Cadillac."
—San Antonio Express-News
“This is Hallinan at the top of his game. It's laugh-out-loud funny without ever losing any of its mystery. It’s a whole new style and I love it. Junior Bender—a crook with a heart of gold—is one of Hallinan's most appealing heroes, rich with invention, and brimming with classic wit. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
—Shadoe Stevens, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
"Fans, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go out of your way and find this book. Hallinan has such an electric style that when he writes as Junior its not some ham-fisted hard-boiled wannabe narration . . . everyone felt like a real person and not just words on a page."
"The story is well designed and well told, and the dialogue sparkles. In a genre perhaps slightly overstuffed with crook-heroes, the book is like a breath of fresh air."
"Crashed is a shining gem to be cherished not only among crime fiction fans, but also among fans of just plain good writing. Don’t miss this little wonder of a book."
—My Bookish Ways
"This is one of those books you long for, wait for, and find once or twice a year"
—Beth Kanell, proprietor of Kingdom Books, Vermont
"This fast-paced first in a series is great fun."
—Stop, You're Killing Me!
“Timothy Hallinan does everything a writer should do whose goal is to keep a reader entertained from the first sentence to the last.”
“A terrific start. The book is entertaining and humorous with a touch of the hard-boiled thrown into the mix. Bender is one smart cookie, always having a plan in mind when things go bad, which they always do.... I hope [Hallinan] will continue well beyond three books.”
—Ted Hertel, Deadly Pleasures
"Hallinan builds a believable plot, filled with both humor and pathos."
—Reviewing the Evidence
“The writing is intelligent, relaxed, and fun to read. Crashed is a pleasurable outing, without the personal risk, to the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles, where moral ambiguity fills the air.”
—Read Me Deadly
“If you're in the mood for a mystery that's just plain fun, this is the one for you... Timothy Hallinan knows how to write a smart aleck main character who has his own set of morals and a heart of gold.”
"If you enjoy shows like ‘Burn Notice’ and ‘White Collar’ then you will love this book. Junior is funny, smart and doesn’t have a filter between his brain and his mouth."
—Tulsa Book Examiner
"This detective potboiler with its oddball characters will keep you chuckling."
—The Martha's Vineyard Times
“Such fun.... A mystery that kept me both entertaining and guessing.”
Praise for Junior Bender
"If Carl Hiaasen and Donald Westlake had a literary love child, he would be Timothy Hallinan. The Edgar nominee's laugh-out-loud new crime series featuring Hollywood burglar-turned-private eye Junior Bender has breakout written all over it... A must-read."
—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
"Timothy Hallinan's The Fame Thief has everything I've come to expect in a Hallinan novel: indelible, complex characters, fantastic plot, and moments of hold-your-breath suspense."
—Charlaine Harris, author of the New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series
"Could not stop laughing. Tim Hallinan is sharp as a blade, has a wicked eye for human nature and keeps the reader guessing and rooting for Junior Bender all the way."
—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
"Hallinan introduces us to a drugged-out, pain-impervious hit man, a nonagenarian puppet master who rules the L.A. underworld, a tabloid reporter who uses his job as a cover to blackmail the rich and the famous, and a host of other characters as dangerously outrageous as the murderous crew obsessed with obtaining the black bird in Hammett's 1930 masterpiece."
"Hugely,splendidly entertaining... Full of delightful characters, and dialogue that provides at least one good laugh on every page, the book is so hard to put down you’ll swear it’s been glued to your hands."
—Booklist, STARRED Review (Little Elvises)
"Junior Bender is bound to be the topic of conversation amongst book lovers and crime fiction fans for a long, long time."
—Robert Carraher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Bender's been a burglar since he was 14. He's "never been caught, never been charged," but he has been kissed. In "Little Elvises," he describes one particular smooch as full of "sweetness" with a "shot of cayenne." And that's a perfect description for Bender himself. He has a big heart. It's just crooked. Bender still loves his ex-wife, adores his precocious daughter, but he's become the go-to guy for folks who can't go to the cops. Think of him as a detective for the delinquent, a fixer for felons."
—Carole E. Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel