The characters are as real as a wanted poster—from Russian gangsters and Mexican feds to businessmen who make the Enron gang look like Britannica salesmen.
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A smooth blend of the best of Elmore Leonard, George V. Higgins, and Robert B. Parker, Six Bad Things is one great book. Surprising, funny, compassionate, edge-of-seat stuff, and beautifully written. If there is such a thing as compassionate noir, Charlie has found it.
Six Bad Things
A true marvel. Read An Excerpt. Paperback —.
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Add to Cart. About Six Bad Things Hank Thompson is living off the map in Mexico with a bagful of cash that the Russian mafia wants back and many, many secrets.
Six Bad Things: A Novel (Henry Thompson), Huston, Charlie, Good Condition Book,
All because of two cowboys, two Russian mafia men, and some of the weirdest goons ever assembled in one place. All because of Bud. All because once, in another life, in another world, the only thing Hank wanted was to take third base— without getting caught. Six Bad Things Hank Thompson is living off the map in Mexico with a bagful of cash that the Russian mafia wants back and many, many secrets.
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So when a Russian backpacker shows up in town asking questions, Hank tries to play it cool. Introduced back in Six Bad Things , Dolokhov is ruthless in his expectations.
With the money seemingly lost at the end of Book Two , after Thompson murders the friend who was safekeeping it, Dolokhov exacts a form of servitude. There is an additional, coercive caveat, in case Thompson gets it in his mind to run again: he does as the mobster wishes, or else Thompson's parents will pay for his disobedience with their lives.
Dolokhov's turning Thompson into a hit man is not only physically painful for Thompson he has to pop pills to kill the pain in his surgically altered face , but the brutality is also sapping Hank both spiritually and emotionally the painkillers help to numb this, too. The murders of the innocent and not-so-innocent give Huston's protagonist bad dreams in one of which he plays video games with a boy whom he shot in the head , and portend the certainty of his own demise. To guide Thompson in his new life as a hired murderer, and to keep an eye on him, Dolokhov employs a professional Serbian killing machine, known here only as Branko.
Branko teaches Thompson about clothes, cars, taking care of himself and, above all, taking lives efficiently. Thompson is an investment for Dolokhov.
When he falters early into his murderous role, it is Branko who steps in and finishes the kill "Branko gave it a minute, then he shot the guy with his own gun". Soon enough, the proficient Thompson learns how to do it all by himself. Hank's altered appearance is intended to give Dolokhov a secret-weapon killer "I was gonna be his ghost, the guy no one knows about".
Ana wants Dolokhov to assassinate Thompson, though Dolokhov is more inclined to kill his bothersome sister-in-law, instead.
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Though small in stature and emotionally wrecked over losing her son, Ana later proves to be a lethal adversary, with her battle-hardened Russian ex-military nephews, Adam and Martin, providing muscle. A Dangerous Man is filled with musical references, my favorite being the arcane-named "Strawberry Letter 23" the title refers to nothing in the song.
You can't have a hip book -- and this book has cool tattooed all over it -- without dropping song titles. There is also a return in these pages to the subject once dear to old Hank's heart: baseball.
Thompson, you'll recall, is a former high-school baseball prodigy, whose hopes for a career in sports ended with a badly broken leg. Dolokhov assigns him to protect a baseball player by the name of Miguel Arenas, who's on a gambling jaunt to Las Vegas. A number-one pick and multi-million-dollar prospect for the New York Mets, Arenas is an amiable and betting-addicted young man.