Fields Where They Lay ~ by Tim Hallinan 

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

*******
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.

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