Westlake, Donald E. Money for Nothing. Mysterious. April 2003. c294p. ISBN 0-89296-787-0. $24.95. Fiction.

For seven years, Josh Redmont has been receiving $1000 a month from an untraceable source called United States Agent. One day on a dock in Bay Shore while Josh waits for the Fire Island ferry, a stranger sits down next to him and tells him he is now “active.” Active, it turns out, in a plot to assassinate the premier of Kamastan, a fictional breakaway state from the former Soviet Union. Josh soon learns that his problems began with a foreign spy’s scam to enrich himself at his nation’s expense. With the corrupt spy discredited, a new control expects Josh to do as asked or his wife and kids will come to harm. But Josh knows he and his family are slated for execution anyway at the operation’s conclusion. His challenge as an amateur against professionals is to thwart the assassination, survive, and save his family. The prolific, Edgar Award-winning Westlake, author of numerous comic crime capers and other mysteries (The Ax) sketches an engaging tale with unexpected twists and turns and a dash of wit throughout. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections.

LJ, 128, no. 5 (March 15, 2003), 118.


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