A Dortmunder Novel, Book 5 (Mysterious Press - HighBridge Audio Classics)
Donald E. Westlake
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Durée : 7 h et 3 min
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
The Byzantine Fire is much more than a flawless ninety-carat ruby. As a stone it's worth over a million dollars, a value vastly increased by its pure gold band - but its history is what makes it priceless. A ring that has been fought for with sword and pen and passed from nation to nation by all manner of theft and trickery, has finally made its way to the United States. The US agrees to return it to Turkey, but it's about to be stolen twice more.
It would take a miracle to keep Dortmunder out of jail. Though he cased the electronics store perfectly, the cops surprised him, turning up in the alley just as he was walking out the back door, a television in each hand. Already a two-time loser, without divine intervention he faces a long stretch inside. Then God sends J. Radcliffe Stonewiler, a celebrity lawyer who gets Dortmunder off with hardly any effort at all. Stonewiler was sent by Arnold Chauncey, an art lover with a cash-flow problem. He asks the thief to break into his house and make off with a valuable painting in exchange for a quarter of the insurance money.
Kelp has a plan, and John Dortmunder knows that means trouble. His friend Kelp is a jinx, and his schemes, no matter how well intentioned, tend to spiral quickly out of control. But this one, Kelp swears, is airtight. He read it in a book.
In county lock-up for a traffic charge, Kelp came across a library of trashy novels by an author named Richard Stark. The hero is a thief named Parker whose plans, unlike Kelp and Dortmunder's, always work out. In one, Parker orchestrates a kidnapping so brilliant that, Kelp thinks, it would have to work in real life.
John Dortmunder doesn't like manual labor. So when he gets the offer of money to dig up a grave, he balks . . . then he wonders why Fitzroy Guilderpost, criminal mastermind, wants to pull a switcheroo of two 70-years-dead Indians.
Al Engel had worked his way up to being Nick Rovito’s right-hand man, near the top of the syndicate. And this was a delicate job that Rovito had given him: retrieving a very important jacket, loaded with heroin, from the fresh grave of the drug mule who was accidentally buried wearing it. There was just one problem (at least - just one to begin with): It turned out the grave was empty. Suddenly Engel was the one finding himself “in deep”.
It's the score of a lifetime: easy access to a lavish New York City apartment, hordes of valuables, and an absentee owner avoiding the lawyers of his unhappy ex-wives. But before they pull the job, Dortmunder's crew is startled to find their beloved gin joint, the OJ, in the clutches of the Mafia--who consider it perfect for a little fraud, courtesy of a nice big fire. For tactical and highly superstitious reasons, the fate of the OJ is even more important to the crew than the enormous score.
And at one point we decided it might be fun to do a novel together. Not by thinking it out and talking through it and, you know, collaborating in a serious artistic manner. Our method was simpler. One of us would write a chapter, and then the other would write a chapter to come after it, and back and forth, like that, until we had a book. It worked, and by God it was fun. The first of our efforts was A Girl Called Honey, and it started when I wrote a chapter and sent it to Don. And so on, and we stopped when we had a book and sent it to Henry Morrison.
What would it take to lure a serious young newswoman from a respectable New England paper to the most notorious supermarket tabloid in America? The call of journalistic adventure? How about a promise of a salary that's triple what she's making? En route to her new job at the Weekly Galaxy, Sara Joslyn stumbles across a bloody corpse in a Buick Riviera. A big story? Not at this paper. The problem is compounded when the dead man vanishes, Buick and all.
Specialist in the scam, the con, and the rip-off, Jerry Manelli is running around New York hot on the trail of a priest: a thousand-year-old, two-foot-tall, ugly, misshapen, dancing Aztec priest made of solid gold, with eyes of pure emeralds, worth a million dollars. Somebody stole it from its museum home in South America and smuggled it through U.S. Customs in a shipment of plastic imitations. But the wrong one got delivered, and the million dollar statue, mixed with the fifteen copies, is somewhere in New York.
Hospitalized after a liaison with another man's wife ends in violence, Paul Cole has just one goal: to rebuild his shattered life. But with his memory damaged, the police hounding him, and no way to even get home, Paul's facing steep odds - and a bleak fate if he fails. This final, never-before-published novel by three-time Edgar Award winner Donald E. Westlake is a noir masterpiece, a dark and painful portrait of a man's struggle against merciless forces that threaten to strip him of his very identity.
Arriving home at dawn after another failed burglary, John Dortmunder - the anti-hero of Donald Westlake's popular comic crime series - is shocked to find his apartment occupied by a notorious cellmate everyone had supposed (and hoped) had been jailed for life.