Created by Larry Beinhart
Brooklyn's TONY CASSELLA has an extremely flexible set of ethics and "half a law degree from Yale" (he dropped out of law school, figuring on a more hands-on occupation).
But there was a hiring freeze in the Police Department at the time, so he opted for the corrections department, where he promptly went undercover. I knew how to read, write and pass tests, by their standards a shining star. So they made me an investigator.'
Unfortunately, as an investigator he made him a lot of enemies, so he to go private, counting on his background in law to help him land clients from the corporate world. I didn't have the right kind of name, the right style or the right kind of look. But once in my life I had been in the right place.
His partner is ex-cop Joey D. He lives with his girlfriend Glenda and her young son Joey. Tony has a strained relationship with his mobbed-up uncle Vincent. Tony's deceased father and Vincent had been partners but quarrelled and fell out. His father had wanted nothing to do with Vincent and neither does Tony. However unwillingly, Tony sometimes has to ask for Vincent's help.
In his debut, No One Rides for Free (1986), Tony's investigation reveals high-level corporate and political corruption that leads back to Nazi Germany, money laundering and the drug trade, and also uncovers some unpleasant facts about his own family. In You Only Get What You Pay For (1988) he takes a bet that he can get an original copy of a Prosecutors report into the findings of a grand jury and ends up tangling with the Attorney General of the United States. Due to the events in that last book, he's forced to flee the country and ends up running a laundry in the Austrian Alps under an alias in Foreign Exchange (1981). Naturally, trouble follows him, and he gets involved in yet another case of corporate skullduggery and industrial espionage. This final book is more of a a caper novel, rather reminiscent of Ross Thomas.
Larry Beinhart is a novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster. Besides Tony, he's also created private eye Joe Broz, the private eye hero of American Hero, the satirical novel that became the film Wag the Dog starring Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman, and the author of Salvation Boulevard, featuring born-again gumshoe Carl Van Wagener. He has also written How to Write a Mystery, a book described by James Ellroy as a "post-post-graduate course in writing great crime fiction. He was a recipient of the Raymond Chandler-Fulbright fellowship at Oxford, and he has been awarded an Edgar, a Gold Dagger and several film festival awards. Hes also the co-host and one of the creators of In Your Face, a political talk, music and comedy show broadcast over the Dish Satellite Network by Free Speech TV.
I write about politics because it's the greatest game around and it has the most dead bodies," he says. "Forget about Hannibal Lector. His numbers pale besides a Bush or a Bin Laden. Or even a Clinton.
Respectfully submitted by Eric Chambers.
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