Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
W. L. Ripley
Class/Genre: Mystery Thriller Mafia
Dunne, Jun 2001, $23.95, 272 pp.
In California, his doctor informs realtor Max Shapiro that he has inoperable cancer and will die in six weeks. After years of laundering money for mobster Nick Tortino, Max decides he no longer cares what happens to himself. He informs Nick T's torpedo Gerry Knucks he is no longer playing or paying. Nick takes it as a sign of lost respect and sends two henchmen to kill Max, who has moved to Aspen.
Max's doctor calls to tell him he made a mistake that the realtor suffers from indigestion. Still, he does not want to return to the fold of Nick T so his girlfriend Suzi Carr recommends he hire a bodyguard. She selects former secret service agent Cole Springer. With the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation watching Max, Cole agrees to protect the man because he needs the cash and crack houses are not making enough money to rob and he likes the style of Suzi even if he dislikes his client. Soon all the players are in Aspen, but how the play ends is anyone's guess because no one knows who is directing the action.
SPRINGER'S GAMBIT is an amusing thriller that starts at a SST speed and accelerates even faster until the novel is finished. The story line seems like the Sopranos starring in The Sting. The cast is fully developed so that the audience understands the motives of all the key cast members. However, it is Cole who serves as the cortex that brings everyone and every subplot together. W.L. Ripley writes a fantastic tale that will send new fans to try his Wyatt Storme series.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner