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Review of 'Little Elvises', book 2 in the Junior Bender series

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Little Elvises by Timothy Hallinan

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Timothy Hallinan struck gold with the first book in his Junior Bender series, Crashed. The second book, Little Elvises, which was published by SoHo Crime, does not disappoint.

Picking up not long after the first book ends, Junior finds himself in an interrogation room. Being the career criminal that he is, this is not news. However, Junior begins foraging in new territory when a cop blackmails him into helping clear the man’s uncle, a mobbed-up music mogul, for the murder of a tabloid journalist.

As the unofficial private investigator for Hollywood’s underworld, Junior is familiar with strange requests and impossible situations. But this burglar with a heart of gold may be biting off more than he can chew when his landlady begs for help in finding her missing daughter. Combine this with his own teenage daughter acquiring her first boyfriend, his ex-wife getting serious with someone who wears plaid shirts and the widow of the murder he’s investigating getting under his skin, and you’ve got yourself a wild ride.

Like in the first book, Junior is working on two different cases throughout the story. Characters we know and love, such as his best friend Louie and his daughter Rina, are back in action along with a few new faces. Hallinan has a knack for creating out-of-this-world characters that seem right at home in Hollywood. Using his trademark blend of wit, intelligence, humor and obscure facts, Hallinan knocks this one right out of the park.

One of the interesting things about Junior is that he’s not a 100% stand-up guy. He’s still a crook. You may think that you want him to change, but the more you see him in his element, you realize that you want him to stay right where he is. You like his unpredictable life. You like seeing the messes he gets himself into. And most of all, you like that he’s the perfect mix of good and bad. He doesn’t needlessly hurt people, but he’ll steal you that ruby necklace while telling you all about the history of the stone and artist.

Brains and quick hands? Priceless.

You can find Little Elvises at any of Tulsa’s local book stores: Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, The Frugal Bookworm and Gardners.

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Timothy Hallinan: Twitter

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