Manual Watch Your Back! (Dortmunder, Book 12)

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Though he cased the electronics store perfectly, the cops surprised him, turning up in the alley just as he was walking out the back door, a television in each hand. Already a two-time loser, without divine intervention he faces a long stretch inside. Then God sends J.


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Radcliffe Stonewiler, a celebrity lawyer who gets Dortmunder off with hardly any effort at all. Stonewiler was sent by Arnold Chauncey, an art lover with a cash-flow problem.

Publisher's Summary

He asks the thief to break into his house and make off with a valuable painting in exchange for a quarter of the insurance money. The Byzantine Fire is much more than a flawless ninety-carat ruby. As a stone it's worth over a million dollars, a value vastly increased by its pure gold band - but its history is what makes it priceless. A ring that has been fought for with sword and pen and passed from nation to nation by all manner of theft and trickery, has finally made its way to the United States. The US agrees to return it to Turkey, but it's about to be stolen twice more. It was supposed to be a simple caviar heist.

Dortmunder is almost in the building when the alarm sounds, forcing him up the fire escape and onto the roof. He leaps onto the next building, smashing his ankle and landing in the den of the worst kind of creature he can imagine: nuns. Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print — and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible. John Dortmunder doesn't like manual labor.

Hardback Editions

So when he gets the offer of money to dig up a grave, he balks. John Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks return to the scene of the crime world in an attempt to steal a fleet of automobiles that would leave the Sultan of Brunei blushing. The mark is Monroe Hall, corrupt CEO of a now defunct conglomerate, who spent more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined.

Having escaped prosecution, Hall is holed up on his Pennsylvania farm, and Dortmunder, as usual, has his eyes on the big prize: Hall's vintage wheels.

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It's the score of a lifetime: easy access to a lavish New York City apartment, hordes of valuables, and an absentee owner avoiding the lawyers of his unhappy ex-wives. But before they pull the job, Dortmunder's crew is startled to find their beloved gin joint, the OJ, in the clutches of the Mafia--who consider it perfect for a little fraud, courtesy of a nice big fire. For tactical and highly superstitious reasons, the fate of the OJ is even more important to the crew than the enormous score.

All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull thief John Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he sets out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar.

The Hot Rock

Success is not inevitable with Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move. Eluding the law has always been high on Dortmunder's list. But getting caught red-handed is inevitable in his next caper, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to star in a reality show that captures their next score. The producer even guarantees to keep the show from being used as evidence against them.

They're dubious at first, but the pay's good, so they sign on. Dortmunder 14 books in series. The Hot Rock Publisher's Summary. Book 1. Add to Cart failed. There, his encounters with a Preston Fareweather result in a cure.


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Arnie swore he never wanted to be like Fareweather and that was all he needed to return home a new man. True to form, Fareweather had retreated to the extra-territorial spa to render himself unreachable by process servers working on behalf of his four ex-wives and their attorneys. As he rejoiced in belittling Arnie with accounts of his great wealth, including a super luxury Fifth Avenue duplex penthouse, which housed a priceless collection of art and Spanish silver, Fareweather did not know that Arnie is a fence for stolen goods.

As obnoxious as he was before the intervention, Arnie stayed in business by paying a higher percent of the take than other fences.

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Thus, the stage is set for the main action of Watch Your Back! However, rather than proceed posthaste to make the move on Fareweather, Dortmunder is disturbed that the back room of the O. Bar and Grill is no longer available to him and his crew for their planning sessions. Using his considerable wiles, Dortmunder realizes what is happening and travels down to Florida to inform the uncle. The uncle, a wizened guy himself, takes steps to take back control of the OJ and to settle accounts with the wholesalers.

Saving the OJ and regaining the use of its cozy back room, Dortmunder and gang refocus on Fareweather and his valuable-packed penthouse. In typical Dortmunder fashion, nothing works as planned by anyone Dortmunder and Mikey alike , and all of these forces collide yielding unpredictable, yet hilarious, results.

Read a chapter excerpt from Watch Your Back! To all who know him, he is a pariah. His avarice is not satisfied by his inherited wealth; he must add to it, without regard of whom he screws in the process. However, in this age of Enron and WorldCom, his excesses eventually come to the attention of the feds who put a stop to it.

‎Drowned Hopes: A Dortmunder Novel on Apple Books

Nevertheless, Hall manages to stay out of jail, thanks to his high priced, extremely clever attorneys. And, although he is put out of business and his every move monitored by the authorities, untraceable offshore investments permit him to continue to live in the manner he is accustomed.

Monroe Hall is just the kind of guy that John Dortmunder, loves to hate. Dortmunder, Westlake's world-weary thief, is enticed by the plight of Chester Fallon, an acquaintance of his frequent partner in crime, Andy Kelp. Chester has suffered in a number of ways with which Dortmunder could empathize. He has to turn to driving get-away for bank robbers.