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The Death and Life of Bobby Z

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.



When Tim Kearney, a small-time criminal, slits the throat of a Hell's Angel and draws a life sentence in a prison full of gang members, he knows he’s pretty much a dead man. That’s until the DEA makes Kearney an offer: impersonate the late, legendary dope smuggler Bobby Z so that the agency can trade him for one of their own, who was captured by a Mexican drug kingpin. Knowing his chances of survival are a little better than in prison, Kearney accepts, and he winds up in the middle of a desert at the notorious drug lord’s lavish compound. To his surprise he meets Bobby Z's old flame, Elizabeth, and her son. At first, it’s a short vacation by the pool, but when things turn bloody, the three of them begin the most desperate flight of their lives, with drug lords, bikers, Indians, and cops furiously chasing after them. Whether he pulls it off, whether he can keep the kid and the girl and his life, makes this compelling novel a hilarious, fast-paced thriller about a con caught in a devil’s bargain.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 31, 1997 – Thrown out of the Marine Corps--despite heroics in the Gulf War--for a lack of "impulse control," locked up first for burglary and then for an unwitting armed robbery, three-time loser Tim Kearney is in big trouble in the big house. He's killed a Hell's Angel named Stinkdog with a sharpened license plate in preemptive self-defense. To sidestep the wrath of the Angels, Tim jumps at an only slightly less dangerous proposal from the FBI. They want him to impersonate recently deceased, legendary drug smuggler Bobby Z, so they can trade him for a captured agent. Of course the deal goes sour, and soon Tim has a whole spectrum of nasty enemies out to finish him off. To survive he must grow into his new role, donning all the legendary powers of Bobby Z and a few new ones of his own. Winslow's swift, sardonic narrative brims with cinematic possibilities as Tim and a few deftly etched pals with hearts as pure as his (including a game and clever six-year-old boy) careen from desert to beach to the San Diego zoo in a blur of explosive action. With a keen ear for punk criminal patois, a generous dose of irony and a plethora of memorable bad guys, Winslow, in the best Elmore Leonard tradition, pilots this engaging Southern California thriller from one cliff-hanger to the next. At the same time, this author of the Neal Carey mysteries (While Drowning in the Desert, 1996) steers his writing and his career to a whole new level. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo; film rights to Warner Brothers; simultaneous Random House audio; author tour.

Customer Reviews

Unrecognized Gem

Truly excellent. Both exciting and funny. Moves along very quickly with many twists, turns and surprises. Fun and very entertaining light reading. Fascintating characters, interesting plot. Many similarities in style to Savages. Everyone who I've turned on to this book has really enjoyed it.

Sometimes its fun to have fun

I read this book years ago and was pleasantly surprised that it has stuck with me, they even made a movie out of it. It reads very quickly and I remember how I had a hard time putting it down. Truth be told, I only bought it because the cover of the paperback caught my attention. Treat yourself to a treat and read this book.

The Death and Life of Bobby Z
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Apr 22, 1997
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 272 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.

Customer Ratings