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The Accidental Pallbearer

An Eliot Conte Mystery

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Introducing a gritty new detective series set in the bleak hinterlands of upstate new York

Washed-up private investigator Eliot Conte would rather be teaching American literature and listening to opera than taking pictures of spouses in flagrante delicto. But he flamed out of an academic career when he hung the Provost of UCLA out a window, and he had to come home --- to bleak Utica, New York, where his aging father, Silvio Conte, a political kingmaker, is still cutting deals and hustling appointments, and his all-but-in-blood brother Antonio Robinson is the city's first black Chief of Police.

But now Antonio's asking him for a favor that, to Eliot, doesn't seem like the kind of thing a police chief should ask for ... especially as he begins to uncover a trail of evidence leading back to the most sensational hit in local Mafia history. In a Utica marked by economic devastation and racial tensions, Eliot picks up one strand after another, weaving his way through a web of allegiances, grudges, and his own dark demons. Who is the spider at the center of it all?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nov 26, 2012 – Near the outset of this uneven first in a new crime series from Lentricchia (The Book of Ruth), Utica, N.Y., PI Eliot Conte, son of a New York State political kingmaker, tells his oldest friend, Antonio Robinson, he’s recently learned that the police suspect his ex-wife, Nancy, is the one who bludgeoned their two daughters to death in Laguna Beach, Calif., apparently following through on a threat to get back at him. Robinson, who landed the position of Utica police chief through the elder Conte’s influence, suggests that killing Nancy is the appropriate next step, but Conte feels nothing in the face of this devastating news. Of more concern is pursuing a man Conte will soon witness abusing his baby daughter on a train. Lentricchia, dubbed the “Dirty Harry of literary criticism” by the Village Voice, does a good job of depicting the quotidian nature of most PI work, but the plot starts out stronger than it finishes.
The Accidental Pallbearer
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Hard-Boiled
  • Published: Dec 05, 2012
  • Publisher: Melville House
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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