Review by Booklist Review
Collins' first novel, published in 1972, was called Bait Money and was intended as a stand-alone homage to Donald E. Westlake's Parker thrillers, which Westlake wrote as Richard Stark. The one-off homage, however, became a series starring Collins' version of Parker, superthief Nolan, and his surrogate son, musician and comics artist Jon. Now Collins returns to Nolan and Jon in a new adventure, set in the late 1980s. Nolan, living the straight life as a restaurateur in the Quad Cities, has decided it's time to marry his longtime lover, Sherry. A trip to Las Vegas ensues, where the newlyweds reunite with Jon and settle in for a long weekend of fun and frolic. Not quite. Unfortunately, one of Nolan's pals from the bad old days has a plan to steal a week's worth of skim from a Mobbed-up casino and to use Nolan as the fall guy. Meanwhile, trouble's brewing back in Iowa, too, where a Ma Barker--type wants Nolan's head in a basket (literally). This jaunty caper novel has a definite dark side--Nolan is no ersatz antihero--but Collins, as always, mixes blood and badinage with gusto.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
MWA Grand Master Collins's disappointing ninth crime novel featuring professional thief Frank Nolan picks up six months after the events of 1987's Spree. Now retired, Nolan is enjoying running his supper club in Moline, Iowa, a far cry from his days tangling with the Chicago mafia. To further his efforts toward respectability, Nolan and Sherry, his decades-younger girlfriend, abruptly elope to Vegas to be married in the casino hotel run by an old friend, Harry Bellows. Nolan can't even wander a casino without alerting the suspicions of security, who rough him up believing he's casing the place. Bellows realizes this gives him the perfect scapegoat for his plan to steal the monthly skim, with the mob none the wiser. Predictably, the plan involves kidnapping Nolan and Sherry. Some awkwardly written sex scenes may appeal to middle-aged male fantasies. This long in the tooth homage to Donald Westlake's Parker series is strictly for Nolan fans. (Dec.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The prolific Collins resurrects Nolan, the thief who's tried to go straight since his multivolume criminal career began, for another adventure that will return him to the dark side. Is it ever too late to settle down? Nolan, who owns and manages an Iowa restaurant and lives with Sherry, the hostess he rescued from the kidnapper Coleman Comfort in Spree (1987), decides that 55 isn't too old to pop the question to his 23-year-old lover. Flush with excitement, the two head to Vegas, get hitched at the Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel with the Everly Brothers in attendance, and settle into the French Quarter Casino, whose executive host, Harry Bellows, is an old friend. Life looks sweet, and it gets even sweeter after a brief, violent mix-up leads to Nolan and his bride's getting comped to one of the French Quarter's honeymoon suites. But all good things must come to an end, and soon Collins is asking whether Nolan and Sherry will survive a double-cross whose perpetrator plans to frame them for stealing the casino's latest take and leave them dead--and, even if they do, how they'll fare once they've encountered Cole Comfort's brother, Daniel, a white-sheep loan officer who's reluctantly agreed to kill Nolan on orders from his grieving mother. Nolan can't compete with his acknowledged model, Donald E. Westlake's dead-eyed thief, but fans who aren't hopelessly besotted with Parker will find Nolan's comeback as fleet and efficient as it is free of surprises. No doubt about it: It's great to see Nolan back in action. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.