Joe Portugal’s experienced killing before. He‘s seen gunmen mow down a friend on little more than a whim. He’s known greed and ambition to drive his friends to murder. But now he’s face to face with a whole new degree of wickedness. A show business prodigy has been shot dead. Though no one—except perhaps the man’s father—will mourn him, his demise puts Joe in debt to a shadowy presence whose sway extends deep into Southern California industry, government, and law enforcement. And suddenly Joe begins to suspect that everyone he knows—his protégé, stunning television star Ronnie McKenzie; his new wife, Gina; and most disturbing of all, his prison vet father—is part of that clandestine coterie known as “the manipulated.”
Entertaining prose, frequent humor, quirky L.A. scenes, and a lovable protagonist strongly recommend this fourth entry in the Joe Portugal series.
Joe Portugal has a great compassion for filmdom’s bottom-feeders, and his wounded, good-guy humanity makes The Manipulated a moving, fulfilling read.
Walpow writes one of the most entertaining series being done today. His writing styly feels smooth and casual and instantly absorbs the reader. … like a cold beer on a really hot day, cool, refreshing and just what you need to feel good.
The pace is fast and furious and the dialogue is snappy. Forget [name omitted] and all of those writers with a million dollar marketing program backing them up. Those people are just pretending to be writers anyway. Nathan Walpow is the real thing.
I thought the last Joe Portugal novel—One Last Hit—was unbeatable. Wrong. The Manipulated is even better. Suddenly this is a must-read series.
—Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels
The Manipulated is one slick read. Nathan Walpow has a keen instinct for balancing humor and suspense, and Joe Portugal is one of the hippest series characters around. Entertaining as hell.
—Victor Gischler, author of Gun Monkeys
Nathan Walpow writes like the slacker love child of Ross MacDonald and The Big Lebowski. The Manipulated is funny, smart, snide and rocking, and I’m not just talking air guitar.
—Denise Hamilton, author of the Eve Diamond novels
Both Walpow and his fictional sleuth, Joe Portugal, just keep getting better and better. Slogging through life’s latest travails, Joe P. is both genius and doofus, completely human and utterly likeable. With a great cast of supporting characters, The Manipulated is a smart, funny, compulsive read.
—Taylor Smith, author of Liar’s Market and Slim and Zero