I read Thompson’s Big Wheat a while back from NetGalley and liked it, so I purchased two audiobooks in Thompson’s Herman Jackson series. Jackson is a bail bondsman in Minnesota. Approached by a woman needed to bail out her reprobate brother, she offers a priceless Amati violin as security. After working out a deal with a nearby pawn shop so she can have an instrument to play in the orchestra, she is hit and then run over again and killed by a car as she leaves his establishment.
Then things get complicated as Herman is sought by the real police, fake police and, he learns quickly, the woman had no brother, nor did she provide a real name. And why does everyone want this violin?
Several reviewers have commented on the gypsy presence, one even arguing that it’s an anti-Rom book. While I would not go that far, it did seem overly dominated by stereotypic Gypsy behavior. It was certainly a weak plot device and what saves the book is the Herman repartee with other characters. Not as polished as The Big Wheat, but a fun audiobook, nevertheless.
Lots of interesting detail about violin making.
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