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Verona by Jeffery Deaver


Reviewed by Allen Hott

VeronaIn this one Deaver has written an interesting short story about a man being killed in Verona while driving home in his automobile. It turns out that he was Donald Lark, a gangster who commanded a good size portion of the Panhandle territory. That territory was wanted by several other gangs and two in particular.

At the funeral parlor Brendon Nagel and his right hand man scouted out the other potential gangs and leaders as to who might be the other gang looking to take over Lark’s territory. It turns out that the most likely group is led by John Yung and Ki, Yung’s right hand man. Both of them were standing by the casket and eyed Nagel and his man quickly and quietly.

As Nagel left the parlor he ran into Elliott White who was the local Organized Crime Task Force leading detective. White who always gave quirky names to people mentioned that Max the Factor and Jimmy Jump Up appeared to be along with Nagel, assuming to “pay respects” he said with a grin. White begins to walk away but not until he advises Nagel and his men that they should not be planning to take over Lark’s or any other territory in the panhandle. The police see the death as a good opportunity to cut down on the amount of crime in the area.

Nagel leaves to get his son, Andrew, who was in a bar up the street. But when he arrives at the bar he notes quickly that Andrew is sitting and had just kissed the girl next to him. Nagel realizes at once that the young girl was John Yung’s daughter!

And that is the introduction to this great short story by Deaver of the battle for territory between two gangs. How it is all played out is a really great tale and if you read and like Deaver you will once again be pleased by his great writing ability. A short but fascinating read. Try it and you will see!


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