Thursday, February 27, 2014

Smart Moves - Stuart M. Kaminsky

Nearing the end of this Toby Peters experience. One thing I've noticed in these last few books is Kaminsky likes to mention early on how Toby's back was injured. Namely, that a large black fellow wanted a closer look at Mickey Rooney, and it was Toby's job to not let people have closer looks. He's been making certain to mention that within the first 10 pages, while all the other pertinent details - about his dentist officemate, dwarf roomate, poet-wrestler landlord, asshole cop brother - filter in as needed.

It made a certain amount of sense in Smart Moves, since Kaminsky started near the end, with Toby and Shelly (the dentist) in peril, and Toby's back featuring prominently. But Kaminsky rarely does things like that, so I'm not sure why he finds the back problems the detail he must get out there quickly.

This book breaks the formula a bit, because it draws Toby to the East Coast, to protect Albert Einstein from a threat on his life from Nazi spies. The FBI knows, but are choosing to watch and wait, hoping the killer will lead them to the entire network. Real bunch of sweethearts, the FBI. The fact Hoover apparently suspects Einstein of being a commie pinko probably has something to do with it.

So Toby's somewhat on his own. Shelly shows up for a dentist's convention, but Gunther and Jeremy are on the other coast, along with Toby's brother Phil. Wasn't sorry to see him excluded from the proceedings. He doesn't run afoul of any rude cops, and the feds are generally OK. That was a nice change of pace. Of course, Toby's still fumbling about, making up plans as he goes along, walking into dark rooms hoping to flush out his quarry without being shot. He spends a little more time than usual reflecting on his methods, but he doesn't seem inclined to change. He enjoys the risk and I guess stopping to think before he acts would detract from it.

It's another solid entry in the series. Not one of the best, but not a bad one.

No comments: