Bad Men and Wicked Women
by Dickey, Eric Jerome

When his pregnant and bitter daughter blackmails him for $50,000, Los Angeles enforcer Ken Swift embarks on a clash of wills that is complicated by a contract that spirals out of control, revealing the vengeful nature of a dangerous adversary. By the best-selling author of Finding Gideon.

Eric Jerome Dickey is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, as well as a six-issue miniseries of graphic novels featuring Storm (X-Men) and the Black Panther. Originally from Memphis, Dickey now lives on the road and rests in whatever hotel will have him.

The worst day in Mob enforcer Ken Swift's life begins with a confrontation with the daughter he hasn't seen since her childhood. She demands $50,000 as blackmail for a crime she knows he committed. Ken and his partner, Jake Ellis, get a payment from a wealthy racist crook, which leads to a violent retaliation. Ken's girlfriend is upset that he forgot her birthday, his ex-wife tells him she never really loved him, and Ken must fight to survive so he can reset his life. Despite a slow beginning and long passages of historical commentary, best-selling Dickey (Finding Gideon, 2017) sets in motion a fascinating cast of characters and creates compelling arcs for their stories. Small moments add vivid delight in contrast to all the violence and trouble. Ken's girlfriend sings the entire national anthem at a ball game, including the verse about slaves. Ken and Jake help the abused wife of the rich, cruel criminal. Ken's daughter's problem is unexpectedly solved. Readers will be cheering for the kindhearted Ken and his family in this dark yet ultimately hopeful novel. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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