Ben Abbott Novels
Poisoned Pen Press
On Sale: January 9, 2007
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HardScape and StoneDust, the first Ben Abbott novels,
established Ben as one of the most engaging and canny
investigators to have appeared in a long time. Britainâ€™s
Literary Review terms the Abbotts â€śSmooth, sardonic,
impeccably argued, immaculately writtenâ€ť while author
Lawrence Block says: â€śFrostline is the best book in a
series that started strong and keeps getting better.â€ť
When Newburyâ€™s newest resident, ex-diplomat Harry
King, the close confidant of Kissinger and reputed to have
been heavily involved in the Vietnam War, summons real
estate agent Ben Abbott to his new McMansion, Ben dreams
of big dollar signs. The commission from selling the Fox
Trot estate would be huge. But King doesnâ€™t want Benâ€™s
selling expertise, he wants him to act as a mediator
between him and his troublesome neighbour, surly Vietnam
vet Ronnie Butler. A strip of Butlerâ€™s land cuts straight
into Kingâ€™s estate like a knife, acting as a red flag for
two neighbors who are as ornery and quarrelsome as a pair
of rival bulls. In fact, the testoserone is flowing
heavier than the waters in the stream King is damming up
for a picturesque lake.
Before Ben can mediate, an
explosion rocks a lavish party on the Fox Trot lawn. The
blast blows up the damâ€”and Butlerâ€™s ex-con son, Dickie,
along with it. Butler, an army-trained sapper, is arrested
for setting the dynamite. Ben, whose childhood friend
Dickie had tried his patience and loyalty many times
before, refuses to accept Butlerâ€™s guilt. Besides, too
many things donâ€™t add up. Could it be the work of
terrorists? Of one of the many groups holding a grudge
against King? Or just someone with his own axe to grind?
With the Feds on the scene, caught in state and local law
enforcement jockeying, Ben negotiates an unpopular course
through the usual minefield of his various loyalties to
friends, family and lovers, of whom there are plenty....
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