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Last Dance of the Viper [Hardcover]

Brian Lysaght
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 14 2001
They are the gods of crime--a political bogeyman used to scare up votes come election time. They are cabal of international arms dealers, money launderers, and assassins, their identities and the location of their base of operations mysteries. To those in the underworld, they are the Council.

Once the center of America's silk trade, Paterson, New Jersey, is now a grim specter of its former self. In an abandoned warehouse, Council member Alice Kent has set up shop selling the Japanese nerve gas Sarin, enough to poison the entire island of Manhattan. The problem: Patsy De Marco has stumbled across Alice's operation and wants it out of his neighborhood. The Council has never had a problem dealing with nosy locals like Patsy, and Alice is their most ruthless killer. Getting rid of De Marco will be her pleasure.

But Patsy is no ordinary local. Famous in his prime as a boxing trainer and promoter, Patsy has two adopted sons, Tommy Boyle and Miguel Meza, who are local legends: they competed against each other for the Golden Gloves, the ultimate prize for young welterweights. Patsy's daughter, Natalia, is a supermodel living in Manhattan with the son of--and heir apparent to--the head of the Scotti crime family, John Scotti.

But Patsy's vision for his sons didn't go as planned. Tommy became a Paterson cop working the night shift in a neighborhood overrun with crime and corruption; Meza works for the Scotti crime family in Paterson and is one of the country's most sought-after and respected enforcers.
When Patsy's car goes over the Paterson waterfall, it's business as usual for the Council. But when Stephanie Shane, an investigator working for the navy, starts asking questions, Tommy, Meza, and John Scotti realize that De Marco's death was no-run-of-the mill homicide. Together with Natalia and Stephanie, this unlikely group, working from both sides of the law, will have to battle the greatest criminal minds the world over--or die trying.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The latest thriller from veteran suspense writer Lysaght (The Eye of the Beholder) is a distressing step backward, a hybrid of mismatched genre clich‚s. His tale of ex-pugilist foster brothers Thomas Boyle, a cop, and Miguel Meza, a hitman, who spring into action when their beloved mentor and surrogate father "Patsy" De Marco is murdered, unsatisfyingly cobbles together political thriller, police procedural and Mafia drama. Although fast-moving and never dull, Lysaght's ungainly narrative also manages to be blunt, unsophisticated and vaguely misogynistic. Almost nothing is left to the reader's imagination; as soon as we are introduced to the novel's chief villain, a supercilious ice-queen assassin named Alicia Kent, we're informed that she is "deeply evil." Kent, a key member of the inanely named Kensington Dining Council (which seems to have nonironically modeled itself after James Bond's old archenemy, S.P.E.C.T.R.E.), is directly responsible for De Marco's death. She kills the old boxing trainer because he's stumbled across a Paterson, N.J., warehouse where the council secreted a cache of deadly sarin nerve gas, with the aid of local mob boss Angelo Bracca. After De Marco's body is found at the bottom of a waterfall, the hot-tempered Boyle and nonchalant Meza team up to avenge his death. Along the way, they exchange good-natured taunts, encounter beautiful naval intelligence officer Stephanie Shane and cause a not inconsiderable amount of property damage. They're also greeted by laughably gratuitous female nudity at every turn (Shane gets most of her clothing torn off in the novel's climactic action sequence), one of many indications that the book has more in common with tacky, exploitative B-movies than with solid suspense fiction.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Patsy DeMarco is an amateur-boxing legend and a pillar of the community in decaying Paterson, New Jersey, where he operates a gym. When he dies in an apparent car-jacking gone bad, the community mourns, and his two adopted sons want revenge. One son, Migo Meza, is a Mob hit man; the other, Tommy Boyle, is a suspended Paterson detective. When the investigation of Patsy's death is commandeered by assistant U.S. attorney Stephanie Shane, the boys smell something fishy. Shane knows that Patsy had discovered a cache of deadly chemical weapons belonging to a terrorist group known as the Council, whose chief assassin, Alice "the Viper" Turner, was behind the hit on Patsy. Shane and the brothers find themselves faced with taking out the Viper and saving Manhattan from a chemical attack. This is a broad-canvas, high-concept thriller, like so many others, but Lysaght brings his work in ahead of the field with sharp dialogue, machine-gun pacing, and memorable characters--Meza is as scary a "good" guy as you're likely to encounter. A very entertaining read. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars of fun Feb. 18 2002
Format:Hardcover
See the booklist summary above.
This latest suspense yarn from Lysaght involves multiple genres. From international terrorism and arms trading to police procedural to Russian and Italian mafias. It's kind of a complicated story (a lot of characters) so if you lay the book down and don't pick it up for a week you'll probably forget who's who. I read it in two days and must say I really enjoyed it. Not a dull moment. Violence, action, vengeance, and some humorous dialogue drive this suspense-ridden novel to a satisfying conclusion. If you want to spend some of your leisure time with some exciting fast-paced reading, this novel will not disappoint you.
Highly recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars of fun Feb. 18 2002
By Konrad Kern - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
See the booklist summary above.
This latest suspense yarn from Lysaght involves multiple genres. From international terrorism and arms trading to police procedural to Russian and Italian mafias. It's kind of a complicated story (a lot of characters) so if you lay the book down and don't pick it up for a week you'll probably forget who's who. I read it in two days and must say I really enjoyed it. Not a dull moment. Violence, action, vengeance, and some humorous dialogue drive this suspense-ridden novel to a satisfying conclusion. If you want to spend some of your leisure time with some exciting fast-paced reading, this novel will not disappoint you.
Highly recommended
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