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Thieves' Paradise

Thieves' Paradise
by Eric Jerome Dickey

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Signet (May 6, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451208498
ISBN-13: 978-0451208491

In Thieves' Paradise, bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey weaves an engaging tale of betrayal, desperation, love, and loss seen through the eyes of Dante Black. Unemployed and down on his luck, Dante spends most of his time frequenting an L.A. diner where he hopes to win over Pam, an attractive waitress and actress wannabe. The rest of his time is spent reluctantly working for Scamz, a colorful character from Dante's past with a taste for illegal operations, beautiful women, and flashy cars. Rounding out this cast of clich├ęd yet well-developed characters is Dante's best friend, Jackson, who's deep in debt and eager for a quick solution. Throughout the novel, Dante drifts through seedy pool halls and lavish mansions as his friends quickly become enemies, lovers, and unbearable burdens.

My life had been mean and violent, so all of that colored my perception... Hard to find peace in a storm. I'd been waiting for the storm to leave me. Sometimes you had to leave the storm.
Always fresh, often perceptive, occasionally funny, and undeniably sincere, Thieves' Paradise proves yet again why Dickey continues to top the charts with each artful novel he crafts. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From bookreporter.com source

Eric Jerome Dickey has had a great deal of success, especially as of late. His newest offering, THIEVES' PARADISE, despite an occasional flaw or two, should follow in the successful footsteps of its predecessors --- Dickey's two New York Times bestsellers, LIAR'S GAME and BETWEEN LOVERS.

It should be noted at the outset that THIEVES' PARADISE is not an easy book to stay with. It sometimes has trouble deciding whether it wants to be straight fiction, mystery, or romance. It is all and none of these, being, ultimately...a story. Nothing wrong with that. The violence is graphic, sudden and to the point. If it seems gratuitous to the unschooled, be advised that this is how it goes down in large cities, more often than not. Although THIEVES' PARADISE is set in Los Angeles, it could happen anywhere. In New Orleans, for example, crime statistics released by the city indicate that in the year 2001, 99 per cent of all of the homicides there involved 1) drugs; 2) family disputes; and 3) arguments. It is no different in the Los Angeles of THIEVES' PARADISE. There is also some graphic sexual content, maybe a bit more than you might be used to, though the individuals involved aren't doing anything you haven't heard of.

With those caveats out of the way, onward and upward to the story. THIEVES' PARADISE is primarily the story of Dante, a walking mass of contradictions and complications. Dante is a graduate of the Los Angeles juvenile penal system, and he has no intention of returning to either his alma mater or to its graduate school. Having acquired a computer job that allows him to support himself, Dante has no reason to ever engage in criminal activity again.

Two events, however, conspire to derail his life. When Dante is laid off from his job, his financial obligations make it difficult for him to resist when Scamz, a criminal operator from his past, comes calling with a proposition. Scamz is living large, and while Dante does not necessarily aspire to his lifestyle, the offer that Scamz makes to Dante will not only resolve Dante's financial problems but also those of his friend, Jackson, and Dante's new love Pam, who dreams of a future in Hollywood while she deals with the nightmare of her past.

What is supposed to be salvation for Dante and his friends, however, soon results in disaster, and Scamz's solutions get everyone deeper into trouble instead of extricating them from it. Before the caper is over Dante is left with some hard decisions made harder by his inability to determine who is his enemy and who is his true friend.

Dickey's unblinking view of the street and the people who populate it is fully realized in THIEVES' PARADISE. While not a novel for everyone, it will win fans among those who like their shot of the street served straight up and uncut.

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