Brass Go-BetweenPosted: 2013/02/23
Bleeck, Oliver. The Brass Go-Between. New york: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1969.
An African artifact has been stolen by thieves specializing in art heists. They have offered the museum $250,000 to buy it back and want Philip St. Ives to facilitate the exchange, shield for money. Philip is a character so real-to-life with hangups just like the rest of us. What is not so alike is his occupation. He is a self professed go-between; the broker between kidnapper and ransom, blackmailer and reward, and in this case, art and buy back “fee.” Philip always takes a piece of the reward as a charge for his services but he considers himself a professional mediator and refuses to take sides. He will not help the police catch the criminals and he will not commit a crime to carry out the deal (or try not to at any rate). Having said all that, it wouldn’t be a thriller if something didn’t go wrong with the exchange of money for the African shield. Despite its short length Bleeck packs a ton of adventure into The Brass Go-Between. It should be a movie.
Quote I liked, “…I’m highly susceptible to fiction portrayals of food, whether written or filmed” (p 97). I have to admit it cracked me up that Philip had to go make himself a cucumber sandwich just because he was watching a British film where someone was eating cucumber sandwiches!
Reason read: Ross Thomas/Oliver Bleeck was born in February.
Author fact: Ross Thomas also wrote as Oliver Bleeck.
Book trivia: The Brass Go-Between was not available in my area. I think it might be out of print as well.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Ross Thomas: Too Good to Miss” (p 234).