Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Once a Crooked Man by David McCallum

Once a Crooked Man
by David McCallum
  Not only am I a fan of mystery fiction, but I grew up on the pop culture shows of the late 1960s and 1970s. So when I saw that one of my favorite actors, David McCallum — Illya Kuryakin from the kitschy spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68); also “Duckie” on the current hit series N.C.I.S. — had written a mystery/thriller novel, I couldn’t pass it up. Once a Crooked Man is McCallum’s first foray into writing, after an illustrious career in both acting and singing, but you’d be hard pressed to tell that he’s never published a book before — this comic novel features well-defined characters — including a family of American mobsters, our main protagonist — a B-list actor whose Good Samaritan act pulls him into a deadly situation, an edgy young female British cop, and an embittered but determined wife of a British Colonel, desperate to avenge the wrongs inflicted on her parents. There’s a convoluted but cohesive plot, unexpected sexual encounters, and globe-trotting adventure.

Once a Crooked Man is not perfect, by any means — there are some pretty graphic bits, and, personally, I found the ending a bit rushed or forced, or I would have rated it higher. But, if you’re a fan of the comic farce crime fiction popularized by Donald Westlake in his Dortmunder novels, or Lawrence Block in his Bernie Rhodenbarr novels, you should enjoy this one as well.
[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try the works of Donald Westlake or the “Burglar” books by Lawrence Block.] [ publisher’s official Once a Crooked Man web page] | [ official David McCallum – Writer Facebook page ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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