I read this last Christmas but this Christmas a year chose it to discuss and I started thinking about it and didn’t remember enough. Why should I buy another seasonal book when I’ve got this one around? So …
And although I did know the ending, Hallinan is one of those rare crime writers whose books can stand up to a second reading – he’s not all about plot. The language and the ideas are there – not quite enough to be literary, but certainly not fluff.
This is the 6th book (and latest) in the Junior Bender series and I still haven’t gotten around to reading the first 5 volumes. I’ll promise myself again.
Fields Where They Lay
by Tim Hallinan
2016 / 384 pages
read by Victor Bodine
rating: A+ / crime
Junior Bender is a thief by trade – he robs houses of valuable things and sells them – sometimes for lots of money. But he has a side job – he helps out others who deal on the wrong side of the law because they sometimes have problems which need resolution.
This time he’s working for the Russian owner of a degraded shopping mall who needs someone to figure out why the shoplifting at his establishment has skyrocketed. Then there’s a murder and some chase scenes and another body or two. There’s the threat to Junior’s teenage daughter.
The setting is original – a large shopping mall which has definitely seen better days.
There are a couple of excellent twists involved in the plot and a couple of interesting characters – like Shlomo the Santa who has his own background with a good story of its own.
Of course with the Russian mob involved there is a thriller aspect – chase scenes and guns drawn and a few bodies.
There are some really sentimental parts but the book never gets schmaltzy. Junior is definitely a good guy at heart.