var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-26095435-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
KIRKUS REVIEWS: The object that drops Denver car salesman Quitman O’Neil into a world of trouble is a 1964-D Peace dollar. Never heard of it? Right, that’s the point: The whole issue was destroyed except for a single survivor that Quitman finds–and casually pockets– in the apartment of current lover Helen Costello. Word gets out in a couple of spare, breezy scenes, and suddenly Quitman’s partner Marty Martinez is dead; Helen is dead, horribly; and the killer, Lester VanDyk, strong right arm of monomaniacal coin- collector Henry Lyman, is ready to get really nasty. The only obstacles between the bad guys and their $1 grail are Quitman, his remaining lover, Maria Stevenson–who just happens to be the homicide chief’s jailbait daughter–and, of course, the double- crossing numismatists themselves. And Quitman, by now, has the advantage of not even wanting the $2 million the coin could bring: “He didn’t care about the money, he just wanted to have it. A way to count who was winning.” …Valentinetti’s sparsely peopled payoff is something of a letdown. But he shapes scenes with a sizzling terseness that’ll make you tingle. Like Hemingway, this guy knows just what to leave out.
From Publishers Weekly
A California used-car salesman and an obsessive pursuit of a rare coin combine in this lively debut from an author who is a private investigator in California. When Quitman O’Neil, not usually given to theft, idly pockets a silver dollar, dated 1964, the year of his birth, at the home of one of his casual girlfriends, he sets off a grizzly chain of events. Curious, he stops in at a coin shop near the showroom; his questions alert the dealer, who in turn speaks to an unscrupulous collector. Soon, Quitman’s auto-sales partner is brutally murdered. As Quitman tries to help the police find the killer, another murder occurs. Learning that the killer will be after him next, Quitman decides to exact revenge himself. Valentinetti’s spare, noir-edged style and clipped pace will keep readers turning the pages, and after the satisfying resolution, eager to deal with Quitman again.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
…trim, admirably terse…he suceeds in bringing back the clipped cynicism of the classics… — Washington Post Book World
Mr. Valentinetti has written a neat and modern morality tale. One of the better offerings… Fast moving, mind engaging… — Mystery News
Valentinetti shapes scenes with a sizzling terseness that will make you tingle… — Kirkus
Valentinetti’s excellent job of breathing life into his characters. No one is too good or too dastardly; but believably human. — Orange County Register BOOKS
In a first mystery with a twist, a silver dollar that survived a canceled run accidentally falls into the hands of a used car salesman, and he immediately finds himself running from cops as well as murderers.
Joseph Valentinetti’s “Glint” is a fine mystery, carefully and intrically plotted. What makes this novel more than a mystery is the powerful characterization of its progagonist, the wonderfully drawn and absolutely believable Quitman O’Neil, whose vulnerability and bravery beat at the heart of the story. Our first hint that we are in territory removed from the laconic, disinterested landscape of the average detective story comes early, as Quitman responds with emotional depth and integrity to a horror with which he is intimately involved.
Mr. Valentinetti draws his women with as sure a hand: Helen’s relationship with Quitman is complicated, tender, passionate and revealing; Maria, the daughter of a father threatened by her sexuality, is at once poignant and merciless. It is within his interactions with Maria and Helen that the fascination and truth of Quitman lie.
The novel’s intricacies of plot form a metaphor for the development of a man who is imperfectly aware of his own emptiness, and equally tentative when he begins to fill it with his own character. Mr. Valentinetti is a hell of a writer, and “Glint” is a keeper.
I can just attest to what my father-in-law said after he finished the book. He said it was a great read. He, himself, is a salesman and enjoys coin collecting AND a good mystery, so this book was right up his alley. I bought him three different books for his birthday, and this was by far his favorite!
Louise Cook (Costa Mesa, CA United States)
I enjoyed this book so much. Quitman is quite a protagonist. This story has so many twists and turns and I never knew what was going to happen next. Loved it and Quitman and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery that keeps you on the edge of your chair (couch in my case.) Mr. Valentinetti is very talented.