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What more could you want!? Brilliant fun. Recommended to me by a friend. Now I want to read them all. It is light-handedly hard-boiled, and contains all the things you expect: mystery, danger, derring-do, beautiful women, and a heroic sidekick. It also has quite a few dangerous animals.
Chesbro consistently does one thing superbly and one thing terribly. He writes some of the best thrillers I have ever read--sparkling first-person narratives usually told by his dwarf P.I., Robert Frederickson, PhD, AKA "Mongo the Magnificent." Sadly, the thing he does terribly is his McGuffin. At least three times in four, Mongo discovers that the US civil service has run amok and is doing something both illegal and contrary to the best interests of the United States. No matter how many times he thwarts and exposes this sort of thing, it keeps right on happening--in a manner frankly incredible to anyone who has watched the US government actually try to keep a secret. This is no exception.
That said, I'd rate this the second-best Mongo book of all time, as he goes back to his circus roots and investigates skullduggery under the Big Top. If you can accept the McGuffin, it's got lions and tigers and elephants, Mongo on the trapeze, hairsbreadth escapes and maybe even true love. Go for it!
The book is fun and over-the-top. It's much less political than some of his others, which I liked. However, the editing on this book is terrible! Talk of people being strung out on "drags" and so many missing quotation marks. It made the story a bit hard to follow in places and definitely distracted from the adventure.