When Max Fairbanks, a vastly wealthy and powerful magnate, catches John Dortmunder breaking into his Long Island mansion, he thinks he is dealing with some regular loser. It amuses him to deprive Dortmund of his lucky ring. In Westlake's ingenious and dazzling comic thriller, Fairbanks lives to regret that gratuitous humiliation. The engaging Dortmund gathers a band of cronies, and exacts revenge at a series of the rich man's fancy palaces, from a penthouse on Broadway to a fantasy retreat in Las Vegas.
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From Publishers Weekly
John Dortmunder, the taciturn con man who is the hero of Westlake's funniest series of caper novels, is someone perfectly capable of nursing a grievance. When billionaire hotshot Max Fairbanks, who has caught Dortmunder burgling his Long Island estate, tells the arresting police that the good-luck ring on Dortmunder's finger was stolen from him (when it was in fact a gift from Dortmunder's girlfriend, May), Max's fate, no matter how well protected he may be, is sealed. Dortmunder makes repeated attempts to get his ring back, hitting on ingenious ways to get into the billionaire's lavish Times Square and Watergate apartments, making off each time with considerable loot. But only when Fairbanks goes off to his huge casino/hotel/theme park in Las Vegas, in a deliberate attempt to entrap Dortmunder, does the dour vengeance-seeker shift into really high gear. Picturesque rogues from previous Dortmunder outings are collected into a formidable army, pitted against the best security Max's millions can buy, all leading to a showdown only Westlake could have conceived. As can be expected from this expert hand, the narrative is at once laconic and fast, the jokes constant, fresh and funny. Dortmunder, as always, is a potent brew that makes the world look brighter. Mystery Guild featured alternate.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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