Wiprud, whose humorous mysteries earned many fans, turns more serious with this book. Everyone loves an antihero, and former Naval intelligence officer Gill Underwood — windowscreen repairman by day, jewel thief by night — makes a fine example in this fast-paced thriller. Wiprud excels at creating a sense of place; readers will feel like they’re right there with Gill on New Jersey’s Gold Coast and throughout the Big Apple and beyond.
When a routine break-in goes bad, Gill ends up with a dead girlfriend and $150 million in jewels he wasn’t expecting. Soon, he’s on the run from Serbian, Chinese, Israeli and Cuban gangs, not to mention the FBI. He needs to orchestrate a very elaborate hand-off of the jewels for enough money to set him up doing something else. But with double, and possibly even triple, crosses it’s going to take a lot of work and luck, and just a little bit of explosives. (MIDNIGHT INK, Oct., 312 pp., $14.99)