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The Deal Goes Down


The Deal Goes Down

For most of his life, Tony Cassella was a private investigator and was actually pretty good. He only recently retired, leaving him a man at loose ends. He lives in a house up a dirt road in the Catskills with his two cats, since his wife and son died. He also has a daughter, but she wants nothing to do with him. To top it off, the bank is getting ready to foreclose on his home, which is basically the only thing he cares about anymore, if you don’t consider the furry terrors that keep him company.

So it’s understandable if Tony is depressed. Maybe that’s why he says yes when Madelaine, a woman he barely knows, asks him to kill her husband. She approaches him while he’s riding a train to a funeral. Tony supposes things could be worse, but he’s not sure how. Agreeing to her crazy plot was just nuts, though. He’ll call her and tell her no.

"[Tony's] capers in THE DEAL GOES DOWN are truly like no other in literature. He pulls off problem-solving in a way not seen before."

After some arguing back and forth --- with himself --- Tony decides to do a little further research. After all, it pays not to be hasty. Besides, he really needs the money. A plan begins to form. It involves an upcoming charity party and a clever hook for the target. He swears it’s just exploratory, but things kind of go awry. Still, Madelaine seems okay with how it turns out and moves on. Her “backer,” Liz, is interested in taking their “partnership” to new heights. Now Tony has two women with ideas about how he should kill husbands whom they define as very bad men. This is not what he signed up for. Is it?

When Liz suggests that he check out a Russian oligarch who frequently abuses his wife, Tony balks. For one thing, there’s no way he can possibly get near the man with all of his bodyguards. Plus, pulling off anything shady in Russia would be incredibly risky. Don’t worry, Liz explains, he doesn’t have to go to Russia. In fact, he’ll just go on a lovely ski trip to Austria, where the couple plans to vacation for two weeks. Okay, but that still leaves the problem of the bodyguards. No big deal, Tony can work that out later. For now, he’ll go to Austria and scope out the job, if for no other reason than he enjoys skiing in the Alps. What happens after that is up for interpretation.

Tony Cassella is a moral man, despite how it might seem. He has a code. He’s a tough, ethical, sensical, logical and very human being. The human part is what gets him into trouble. However, he is very likable, even though he presents a somewhat antisocial, cranky façade. His capers in THE DEAL GOES DOWN are truly like no other in literature. He pulls off problem-solving in a way not seen before. The man is slick. So is author Larry Beinhart, who, as a matter of fact, has a decent-sized role of his own in this book. It’s good to have Tony back. Let’s hope he never retires again.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on August 12, 2022

The Deal Goes Down
by Larry Beinhart

  • Publication Date: August 9, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Noir, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House
  • ISBN-10: 1612199909
  • ISBN-13: 9781612199900