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INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD FINALIST • For readers of Harlan Coben and Robert Crais, Robert McClure’s rollicking crime novel of family and felony takes readers on a relentless thrill ride through the L.A. underworld.
Fresh off a nine-year stint in San Quentin, career hitman Babe Crucci plans to finally go straight and enjoy all life has to offer—after he pulls one or two more jobs to shore up his retirement fund. More than anything, Babe is dead set on making up for lost time with his estranged son, Leo, who just so happens to be a rising star in the LAPD.
The road to reconciliation starts with tickets to a Dodgers game. But first, Leo needs a little help settling a beef over some gambling debts owed to a local mobster. This kind of thing is child’s play for Babe–until a sudden twist in the negotiations leads to a string of corpses and a titanic power shift in gangland politics. With the sins of his father piling up and dragging him down, Leo throws himself into the investigation of a young prostitute’s murder, a case that makes him some unlikely friends—and some brutally unpredictable enemies.
Caught up in a clash of crime lords, weaving past thugs with flamethrowers who expend lives like pocket change, Babe and Leo have one last chance to face the ghosts of their past—if they want to live long enough to see their future.
Praise for Deadly Lullaby
“Robert McClure is the real deal, an author who produces pulp fiction the way Chandler and Hammett did—with depth and heart.”—Otto Penzler, editor, The Best American Mystery Stories
“Too compelling to put down.”—Roger Hobbs, bestselling author of Ghostman
“Deadly Lullaby is, at heart, a father-son story, but one in which the father is a ruthless gangster and the son a cynical cop. I loved both of these flawed characters. Robert McClure has written a rousing debut, elevated by pitch-perfect dialogue and a whiplash pace.”—Peter Swanson, author of The Kind Worth Killing
“The writing is excellent, and the family relationship offers an interesting angle.”—I Heart Reading
This is more the tale of a very dysfunctional father and son than a mystery. The father was just released from prison where he had spent a major portion of his adult life. When he was not imprisoned, he was an enforcer for variety of gangsters. The son is an LAPD detective. There is tons of action and violence but I thought that was secondary to the familial interaction. These people were tough and did not particularly hold any particular value in human life. All in all, it was complex and sometimes unpleasant, but it was also captivating once you got into it and got involved with the protagonists.
Thanks to Net Galley and Alibi for an ARC for an honest review.
A Different Kind of Beautiful
The elements of the LA underworld provide a backdrop for an amazing story of the developing relationship between a son and his father. The father is a street thug just out of prison and the son is a hard-working detective on the LA Police force. This is the best book I have read recently. The gritty, gory action opens the door to an understanding of the humanity of those involved. The characters are consistent and understandable. The action continues in nerve-pounding waves to make the book both impossible to set down and a stimulant to thought when not being read. McClure makes something beautiful from the criminal activity. The ending is both satisfying and appalling.
Good Winter Day Read
This is a good story, interesting plot, with colorful characters, a good narrative.