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The Backup Men

by Ross Thomas

A saloon owner and a former CIA agent team up to help a pair of assassins escape deathThe twins who walk into Mac McCorkle's bar look identical, despite their differing genders. Their names are Wanda and Walter Gothar, and from the steel in their eyes it's apparent that their business isn't the friendly kind. They've come seeking help from Mac and his partner, Padilla, an ex-CIA agent who has skulked in the world's darkest corners. Anxious for a big payday, the twins took an assignment out of their depth, working as bodyguards for a Saudi prince who came to Washington to sign an oil deal. The job fell apart, and now the twins are being pursued by the world's two finest killers­--who take out Walter without breaking a sweat. Now Mac and Padilla are faced with a choice: Save Wanda, or join her in the grave.

The Brass Go-Between

by Ross Thomas

To recover an African artifact, St. Ives will trade $250,000--or his lifePhilip St. Ives is the kind of man who can convince a vice cop and a paroled mobster to sit down to a hand of poker. Once he was a reporter with a daily column, a fat Rolodex, and a reputation for indifference to criminal behavior. Now he is a go-between, a professional mediator between thieves and the people they rip off. For arranging the recovery of a stolen necklace, painting, or child, St. Ives takes ten percent of the ransom. His work takes him across the globe, but more importantly, it pays his alimony. An African warrior's shield has come to Washington, where a gang of art-minded burglars pluck it from the museum. They demand $250,000 for the return of the priceless artifact, and request that St. Ives make the hand-off. But when he goes to deliver the cash, he finds himself playing a more deadly game than five-card draw.

Briarpatch

by Ross Thomas

When Ben Dill, an investigator for a Senate Subcommittee, gets a call from his home town telling him that his sister, a homicide detective, died in a car bomb explosion, he puts his investigator skills to work to find who killed her and why.

Cast a Yellow Shadow

by Ross Thomas

An old friend draws barman Mac McCorkle into a deadly international gameAs the saying goes, you can't pick your friends. If you could, Mac McCorkle would disown Padilla. They owned a bar together in Bonn, the West German capital, and stayed partners even after Padilla's sideline as a CIA operative got the bar blown up. Padilla was thought to be dead and erased from the CIA's files--but now he's back on the agency's turf. Mac moved to Washington, DC, after the trouble in Bonn to get married and open his bar anew. His new bride is beautiful, the bar is a success, and Padilla's reappearance threatens everything. A group of African terrorists want Padilla to assassinate the prime minister of their small sub-Saharan republic--and they've kidnapped Mac's wife to use as leverage.

Chinaman's Chance: A Novel

by Ross Thomas

This book introduces Artie Wu, Pretender to the throne of China. Wu claims to be the illegitimate son of the illegitimate daughter of the Boy-Emperor, who is also remembered as P'u Yi.

The Highbinders

by Ross Thomas

St. Ives goes to London on a job for the least trustworthy con artist he knowsPhilip St. Ives has only been in the pub a few minutes before he realizes his whiskey is drugged. Instantly sick, he's vomiting on the sidewalk when the muggers appear. He fights as best he can in his drugged state, and only when he feels the handcuffs does he realize his assailants aren't muggers--they're cops. He wakes in a dingy cell to the knowledge that English Eddie Apex has pulled a fast one on him. English Eddie is not English, but talks with a British accent that once made him New York's most refined con artist. In retirement and living in London, he had hired St. Ives--a professional mediator between crooks and their marks--to come to England to help him recover a stolen painting. The drugged whiskey won't be the last surprise St. Ives gets in Blighty, and the police won't be the only ones who try to cause him pain.

The Mordida Man

by Ross Thomas

A freelance fixer comes out of retirement to rescue the President's kidnapped brotherAmerican agents abduct a high-profile terrorist in broad daylight on the streets of London, subduing him with a tranquilizer. He dies a few hours later on a flight back to Washington, DC, and the body is dropped into the ocean. Hours later, the President's brother--a political powerhouse in his own right--boards a plane to Las Vegas that doesn't land in Nevada. Libyan radicals are at the controls, and he is their prisoner. The only man who can save him is Chubb Dunjee. A former United Nations operative with skills in every aspect of political negotiation, Chubb became famous for solving problems with well-placed bribes. Saving the President's brother should be no trouble for him. But the Libyans don't want a bribe. They want blood.

No Questions Asked

by Ross Thomas

With eviction looming, St. Ives searches for a big payday and a rare bookPhilip St. Ives has no love for New York's drafty, broken-down Adelphi Hotel, but he is in no mood to be evicted from it. His cash dwindling, he is happy to learn about a job that calls for his specific talents as a mediator between thieves and their victims. It sounds like the set-up to a bad joke: A thief, an insurance salesman, and the Library of Congress call Philip's lawyer to ask about a stolen copy of Pliny's Historia Naturalis. To find it, Philip will risk becoming history himself. The book was stolen on its way from the Library of Congress to California, and the detective guarding it vanished as well. Mired in snow-choked Washington, DC, St. Ives must arrange for a pair of ransoms to avoid becoming a victim of book collectors who value a nice first edition over an investigator's life.

The Porkchoppers

by Ross Thomas

Two hard-nosed bosses scrap for control of America's largest unionBorn to a steelworker but harboring theatrical aspirations, Donald Cubbin grew up tempted by two careers. A Hollywood scout finally notices him, but Cubbin has already taken a job with the local union boss. He's always regretted that decision--especially now. After decades climbing the ranks, Cubbin runs the show as the union's president. An election looms, and his opponent proves to be a dangerously loose cannon. Cubbin made dozens of enemies over the years, and one has just engaged a hired killer. The fight for Cubbin's job starts with muckraking but could end in murder.

The Porkchoppers

by Ross Thomas

Two hard-nosed bosses scrap for control of America's largest unionBorn to a steelworker but harboring theatrical aspirations, Donald Cubbin grew up tempted by two careers. A Hollywood scout finally notices him, but Cubbin has already taken a job with the local union boss. He's always regretted that decision--especially now. After decades climbing the ranks, Cubbin runs the show as the union's president. An election looms, and his opponent proves to be a dangerously loose cannon. Cubbin made dozens of enemies over the years, and one has just engaged a hired killer. The fight for Cubbin's job starts with muckraking but could end in murder.

The Porkchoppers

by Ross Thomas

Two hard-nosed bosses scrap for control of America's largest unionBorn to a steelworker but harboring theatrical aspirations, Donald Cubbin grew up tempted by two careers. A Hollywood scout finally notices him, but Cubbin has already taken a job with the local union boss. He's always regretted that decision--especially now. After decades climbing the ranks, Cubbin runs the show as the union's president. An election looms, and his opponent proves to be a dangerously loose cannon. Cubbin made dozens of enemies over the years, and one has just engaged a hired killer. The fight for Cubbin's job starts with muckraking but could end in murder.

The Porkchoppers

by Ross Thomas

Two hard-nosed bosses scrap for control of America's largest unionBorn to a steelworker but harboring theatrical aspirations, Donald Cubbin grew up tempted by two careers. A Hollywood scout finally notices him, but Cubbin has already taken a job with the local union boss. He's always regretted that decision--especially now. After decades climbing the ranks, Cubbin runs the show as the union's president. An election looms, and his opponent proves to be a dangerously loose cannon. Cubbin made dozens of enemies over the years, and one has just engaged a hired killer. The fight for Cubbin's job starts with muckraking but could end in murder.

The Procane Chronicle

by Ross Thomas

A bungled hand-off lands St. Ives in jail on suspicion of murderIt's three in the morning, and Philip St. Ives has come to the all-night Laundromat to meet a thief. His laundry bag isn't carrying dirty clothing--it's stuffed with $90,000 cash. But he finds his contact, Bobby Boykins, in no state to talk. Bobby has been beaten, strangled, and stuffed behind a washing machine; Philip is inspecting the corpse when the police find him. Standing in a Laundromat with a dead body and a sack full of cash, Philip learns, is a good way to get arrested. St. Ives is a go-between--a mediator between thieves and their victims--and he came to meet Bobby for the sake of a rich man who has lost his diary. If Philip can escape the Tenth Precinct, Bobby's killer will come for him next.

Protocol for a Kidnapping

by Ross Thomas

When his old boss is kidnapped, St. Ives reluctantly agrees to free himPhilip St. Ives loses his first job in journalism as soon as he realizes he hates the man who gave it to him. Chicago Post editor Amfred Killingsworth is a pompous blowhard, and fires his newest reporter for failing to fawn over him. St. Ives goes to New York, where he lands a daily column and the close friendship of an assortment of crooks. Killingsworth goes in a less respectable direction, becoming the US ambassador to Yugoslavia. By the time the ambassador gets himself kidnapped, the only man who can save him is his former cub reporter. The kidnappers demand the release of a Slavic poet in exchange for the ambassador, and St. Ives goes behind the Iron Curtain to arrange the hand-off. To protect a trove of ugly Washington secrets, he'll have to save the life of a universally disliked man.

The Seersucker Whipsaw

by Ross Thomas

An old-school Southerner is recruited to run a political campaign in a dangerous African electionClinton Shartelle doesn't seem like a good choice to run a political campaign in Albertia. For one thing, he's American, and Albertia is a small coastal republic in Africa, about to be cut loose from the English Crown. For another, Shartelle is Southern and fiercely proud of it, and his ideas about racial politics veer unpredictably from progressive to rigidly old-fashioned. But Shartelle is the best, and the political future of Albertia is too important to be left to anyone else. If history is any indication, this first fair election will probably be the country's last. Rich natural resources make it attractive to businessmen on both sides of the Atlantic, opening Albertia up to political corruption. For his part, Shartelle is hired to make sure that a British industrialist's favored candidate wins the presidency. But the opposition is backed by the CIA, for whom murder is just another political tool.

The Singapore Wink

by Ross Thomas

A stuntman searches for a colleague whom he thought he killed long agoTwo pirates do battle on an old junk ship in Singapore Harbor. They leap nimbly from deck to rigging, crossing swords like fencing masters. And then one surprises the other, slicing a rope and sending the unfortunate pirate tumbling into the bay. This is how stuntman Angelo Sacchetti dies. Edward Cauthorne was his opponent, a fellow stuntman whose career died along with Sacchetti. He's selling used cars when two thugs approach him. They're emissaries from Sacchetti's godfather, a Mafia don. Sacchetti is alive after all--alive enough to be blackmailing the don--and they firmly request that Cauthorne find him. The search takes Cauthorne back to Singapore, to risk his own life for the sake of the man he thought he'd killed.

Yellow-Dog Contract

by Ross Thomas

An ace campaign operative comes out of retirement to investigate a chilling disappearanceThere are few jobs that Harvey Longmire hasn't had. He's been a crime reporter, Louisiana state legislator, foreign correspondent, and--briefly--a decoy for the CIA. But he made his name as campaign trail fixer, an expert in the art of exploiting an enemy's secrets. For nearly a decade, Harvey was the sharpest man in the Beltway, but he quit in 1972, trading political dirty work for a quiet life on a farm. Now two old friends want him back in the game. A millionaire named Vullo has started a foundation to investigate conspiracies, and Harvey happens to be the expert on the most prominent case: the infamous disappearance of a man named Arch Mix. The trail is not as cold as Harvey thought. Soon he'll either find Mix--or suffer a disappearance of his own.

Showing 1 through 17 of 17 results

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