Goodreads ~ In this jaunty follow-up to Big Numbers, a scruffy stockbroker returns to tangle with mobsters, women and his own big mouth. The good news, as the story opens, is that the hero is in the company of a gorgeous naked lady. The bad news is that she's pointing a shotgun at him. It's a typical predicament for Austin Carr, a semi-shady New Jersey financial professional temporarily in charge of Shore Securities while his boss is on vacation.
But market fluctuations are the least of Carr's worries. He's being extorted into opening a money-laundering account for local crime boss, Bluefish; an auditor who was investigating his company has turned up murdered; a fetching state police captain figures he's the key to her organized-crime probe; and his boss's mother has been picked up for fixing her church bingo game.
Carr is continually getting into trouble over his weakness for breasts, his penchant for self-incriminating statements and his vestigial moral sensibility, which, like an appendix, makes itself felt at inconvenient times. On the plus side, he's got his noble Mexican buddy Luis, a boyish grin for placating angry females, an occasional glimmer of perceptiveness and a stock salesman's gift for closing the deal, even with people who are preparing to throw his weighted body into the ocean.
Austin is a stockbroker whose trading license has been temporarily suspended. His boss, Mr. Vic, has sailed with his family to Tuscany leaving Austin in charge of Shore Securities. Their top salesman has just left to go to another firm and they are being investigated by the AASD (American Association of Security Dealers). And that's just the beginning of Austin's problems.
A crime boss named Bluefish wants Austin to "invest" some money for him. When he says no, Bluefish threatens Austin's children so he feels he has to go along with it. In addition, he has an appointment with the AASD auditor but Tony, Mr. Vic's "friend", insists that he go instead, taking Bluefish's money to bribe the auditor if necessary. The auditor ends up dead and the money disappears. Austin just wants to keep a low profile and run Shore Securities but danger keeps turning up every time he turns around.
Though this is the second in the Austin Carr series, it works as a stand alone. There are lots of colourful characters (such as Mama Bones and Creeper) and the author provides plenty of background on everyone so you aren't lost if you haven't read the first book. Written in first person point of view (Austin's), I liked the writing style as it was sarcastic at times. The chapters are short and chunky, which I like. As a head's up, the language are for a more a mature reader.