Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mmm, lasagna does sound good.

Well, as sort of promised, I did track down the next book in Laura Resnick's Esther Diamond series recently. Due to a bunch of personal stuff, this review is going up a few days late, but ya know, here we go.

Doppelgangster picks up with Esther's stage show being cancelled, requiring her to start working on Mulberry St. in Lower Manhattan at a place called Bella Stella, where the wait staff sings upon customer request. Most of the clientele are Made Men. (For those not in the know, Mulberry St. is in the heart of Little Italy. Try as I could, I never did make it there when I was in New York last week.) This creates conflict with her sort of boyfriend, Detective Lopez, since he's now part of the Organize Crime team with the NYPD.

However, things get off to an ugly start when first she serves Chubby Charlie, then runs into Chubby Charlie again after her shift is over, as he's walking into Bella Stella with no memory at all of having been in there the first time. The next night, he's in again, terrified, having seen his perfect doppio, which to him, means certain death. A prediction that comes true, since he winds up being shot by an impossible bullet in the middle of the entree.

This gets Esther back in with Max and a man named Lucky, and thanks to a play on words, the perfect doubles running around become known as Doppelgansters. (Given the doubles are mostly of mafia folks, it plays well with the original term, doppelganger.)

Things continue to go south throughout the book, as doubles of major characters show up, people die as a prelude to a mob war, and Esther keeps getting threatened with a Material Witness warrant by Lopez's boss. Not that Lopez is happy about Esther running around with the mob, but ya know.... When Evil is running amok, so are Esther and Max.

A fun entry, even if I did figure out one of the parties responsible as well as how the doppios were being created well before the narrative did. Will have top start tracking down more of the series when I get my personal crap better straightened out.