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A Filthy Business

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Good intentions: they’ll bite you every time.A lifetime ago, brutally efficient fixer Phil Kubiak coldly cleaned up the messes of shady clients from Miami to Las Vegas by any means necessary—short of murder.Now he’s one eye and one working leg short of the man he used to be, scarred beyond recognition, and with the feds and criminal organizations in hot pursuit. Throwing b Good intentions: they’ll bite you every time.A lifetime ago, brutally efficient fixer Phil Kubiak coldly cleaned up the messes of shady clients from Miami to Las Vegas by any means necessary—short of murder.Now he’s one eye and one working leg short of the man he used to be, scarred beyond recognition, and with the feds and criminal organizations in hot pursuit. Throwing back sour beer in a dingy bar, Phil recounts the long story of his bitter life to the only person left to listen . . .Across the splintery table, a journalist in pursuit of a career-making interview has driven into the bowels of the desert, seeking not only an award-winning profile but also something more . . . something darker.Will what she sees in Phil’s empty gaze spur her toward forgiveness—or vengeance?


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Good intentions: they’ll bite you every time.A lifetime ago, brutally efficient fixer Phil Kubiak coldly cleaned up the messes of shady clients from Miami to Las Vegas by any means necessary—short of murder.Now he’s one eye and one working leg short of the man he used to be, scarred beyond recognition, and with the feds and criminal organizations in hot pursuit. Throwing b Good intentions: they’ll bite you every time.A lifetime ago, brutally efficient fixer Phil Kubiak coldly cleaned up the messes of shady clients from Miami to Las Vegas by any means necessary—short of murder.Now he’s one eye and one working leg short of the man he used to be, scarred beyond recognition, and with the feds and criminal organizations in hot pursuit. Throwing back sour beer in a dingy bar, Phil recounts the long story of his bitter life to the only person left to listen . . .Across the splintery table, a journalist in pursuit of a career-making interview has driven into the bowels of the desert, seeking not only an award-winning profile but also something more . . . something darker.Will what she sees in Phil’s empty gaze spur her toward forgiveness—or vengeance?

30 review for A Filthy Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    Phil Kubiak is an outlaw concierge/fixer who struggles to understand the morality of his life's direction in William Lashner's brilliant new thriller. It's so satisfyingly entertaining that it reminded me of why I read fiction in the first place and seriously tempted me to start over on page one and reread it. Originality, humor and masterful first person prose drive the action in this uniquely crafted work of crime fiction. Phil Kubiak, unlike his more sedate predecessor Victor Carl in Lashner' Phil Kubiak is an outlaw concierge/fixer who struggles to understand the morality of his life's direction in William Lashner's brilliant new thriller. It's so satisfyingly entertaining that it reminded me of why I read fiction in the first place and seriously tempted me to start over on page one and reread it. Originality, humor and masterful first person prose drive the action in this uniquely crafted work of crime fiction. Phil Kubiak, unlike his more sedate predecessor Victor Carl in Lashner's earlier legal thrillers, lives on the razor's edge of the dark side as a totally unforgettable character..... The Kindle version is interspersed with interactive illustrations which I've not seen before but enjoyed immensely and so will you. Very highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Mayes

    Wow, I don't even know where to start. First off, this is not for the faint of heart; I read a lot of crime/noir/hardboiled books and this book made me gag in a few places. Second off this is an unforgettable book. The main character is a psychopath and recognizes that he is one. He has no empathy and thinks only of himself and how he can manipulate others to further his ambitions. Is he redeemed at the end of the book? That's for you to decide. I listened to this audiobook and the narrator was Wow, I don't even know where to start. First off, this is not for the faint of heart; I read a lot of crime/noir/hardboiled books and this book made me gag in a few places. Second off this is an unforgettable book. The main character is a psychopath and recognizes that he is one. He has no empathy and thinks only of himself and how he can manipulate others to further his ambitions. Is he redeemed at the end of the book? That's for you to decide. I listened to this audiobook and the narrator was superb (maybe that's why I gagged 😏).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leather

    I am not a big fan of the narrative mode of sitting the main character at a table and made him tell his story. This novel is a little the archetype of this literary genre, a kind of huge flashback interspersed with scenes that bring back the present. With the particularity of having as a narrator a psychopath who assumes himself as such, which gives a grand-guignolesque side to the story, and also allows the author to show his usual humor. The story is very well built, although a bit long, and th I am not a big fan of the narrative mode of sitting the main character at a table and made him tell his story. This novel is a little the archetype of this literary genre, a kind of huge flashback interspersed with scenes that bring back the present. With the particularity of having as a narrator a psychopath who assumes himself as such, which gives a grand-guignolesque side to the story, and also allows the author to show his usual humor. The story is very well built, although a bit long, and the end of the book is very well done. The main character is very interesting. As is often the case in Lashner's books, there is a lot of matter for thought on the concepts of good and bad, which is a bit of his trademark. As long as the author uses a narrative mode less clenching I'm open to read the continuation of the adventures of Mr Kubiak., The door is clearly open for a suite. Note that the book is proposed in "kindle in motion", with small videos and photos of illustration. If like me you do not read with a Fire you have little chance to see them. Which is not worse considering if I want to see actors embody characters I watch a movie or a series, I do not read a book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Magnificent Thriller Lashner is becoming one of my favorite writers. Great characters, tight plots and a few twists you don't see coming. Highly recommended. Magnificent Thriller Lashner is becoming one of my favorite writers. Great characters, tight plots and a few twists you don't see coming. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. There are plenty of reviews giving a synopsis of the book, so I won't. The story was great as was the writing. I have to say that the in motion animation was a little disconcerting at first, but I got used to it and even found that it added to the enjoyment. As the tale unfolded, I felt sorry for and even liked the outlaw and found myself wishing that his injuries were a disguise. Since I had been so thoroughly engrossed in his story, I was completely surpr I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. There are plenty of reviews giving a synopsis of the book, so I won't. The story was great as was the writing. I have to say that the in motion animation was a little disconcerting at first, but I got used to it and even found that it added to the enjoyment. As the tale unfolded, I felt sorry for and even liked the outlaw and found myself wishing that his injuries were a disguise. Since I had been so thoroughly engrossed in his story, I was completely surprised by the ending. That doesn't happen to me often. This is the first book that I have read by William Lashner, and it will not be the last. He is an extremely talented author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nick Stika

    Another interesting romp from William Lashner. I do enjoy his books.

  7. 5 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    Eh It wasn't like horrible but you ever read a book and just know without looking at the author it was written by a man? Yea. That's this book. Eh It wasn't like horrible but you ever read a book and just know without looking at the author it was written by a man? Yea. That's this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    vince goicoechea

    Great adventure, like an old pirate saga Super characters, with an awesome anti-hero. Really fun to read. Lashner can really keep you engaged, highly recommend his books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Derek Davis

    This is the first of Lashner's works I've read outside the Victor Carl Series, and it's stunning. In several senses of the word. A woman writer (unnamed) is directed to a vile bar in the middle of a Southwestern dessert to interview the outlaw (who may be named Phil Kubiak, but I'd bet he borrowed the name from the underrated and now lost TV show, "Parker Lewis Can't Lose"). The outlaw is a legend for something he did to save a young woman and the writer has an unstated motive – beyond a massive This is the first of Lashner's works I've read outside the Victor Carl Series, and it's stunning. In several senses of the word. A woman writer (unnamed) is directed to a vile bar in the middle of a Southwestern dessert to interview the outlaw (who may be named Phil Kubiak, but I'd bet he borrowed the name from the underrated and now lost TV show, "Parker Lewis Can't Lose"). The outlaw is a legend for something he did to save a young woman and the writer has an unstated motive – beyond a massive scoop – to find this particular man. That's the bones of the wraparound plot. The rest is his story, told first-person. But beyond and beneath the events, which are a marvelous concoction of mystery, intrigue, sex, violence and multi-level arrogance, lies the outlaw's need to find if he is what he fears he may be, and if so, whether it be curse or salvation (or, more likely, both). Describing the actual flow of the narrated events here would be worse than a spoiler. It's too good to be summarized. Yet character is really the central element. The outlaw, like Victor Carl (and Lashner), is a lawyer. He is, in a sense, Victor Carl on mental steroids – brilliant, competent, self-assured in his increasingly convoluted attempts to circumvent, live off and absorb the system. He is far darker than Carl yet more of a floater, an approach that leads his self-assurance to do him in, time and again. But always, underneath, there's the fear, the nag, the question about what he is (thank the muse, it has nothing to do with sex or gender). He explodes through increasingly misdirected personal epiphanies, but do any of them bring him "truth" about himself? Again, like Carl, he consistently thinks the worst of himself, a worst that would be (possibly is) about as bad as it gets. Any good he achieves he brushes aside as collateral damage arising from his tactical advantage. By the end, you think you know at least the rough outlines of him, like a nimbus that flickers around his every concrete move. But is any of it real? What are his motives in saying what he does, when he has deliberately painted himself as the ultimate manipulator? Lashner's set pieces of mayhem have always been superb. Much of the violence here is implied through threats that you know would be carried through by the outlaw or those in the almost Fu Manchu-type organization he works for (when he doesn't work against it). The final eruption is a masterpiece, second only to his Philly Naval Yard mob battle in Veritas (later inexcusably retitled Bitter Truth), the best and most cinematic of the Victor Carl novels, for some inexplicable reason never made into a movie. A Filthy Business is an easy read because the words flow with clean, simple beauty, but they slide above layer upon layer of questions. For inherent complexity and human misdirection, the nearest parallel I can think of is John Fowles The Magus, but Lashner's narrator is several steps up from Fowles' insipid Nicholas. There's a definite hint of a sequel at the end, and I hope it remains only that. Kubiak (or whoever he might be) can only be dulled by shining further light on his soul.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    I loved this book! I found the plot so refreshing! A writer set out to get the story of a recluse, societal runaway or castaway etc. I loved the believable if not hauntingly real dialogue. Mr. Lashner is certainly taking his reader to unique, unknown settings with plot magic! Yes magic. Mr. Lashner takes you from a totally disgusting event o one so endearing: "But then she remembered her brother's smile that summer night when she was seven and they were catching fireflies and he put the insects in I loved this book! I found the plot so refreshing! A writer set out to get the story of a recluse, societal runaway or castaway etc. I loved the believable if not hauntingly real dialogue. Mr. Lashner is certainly taking his reader to unique, unknown settings with plot magic! Yes magic. Mr. Lashner takes you from a totally disgusting event o one so endearing: "But then she remembered her brother's smile that summer night when she was seven and they were catching fireflies and he put the insects in a jar with a lid pocked through with holes, and how the jar spun with magic as he held it up against the stars. And she remembered the way he'd hugged her close during their mother's funeral before he went up and spoke for them both in a choked voice because she was too broken apart to rise from her chair." Mr. Lashner is a master!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Is a psychopathic outlaw who can win your sympathy the ultimate in noir heroes? Probably because this was the ultimate noir. Now noir isn't my favorite, but I have to respect this rich and exciting effort by Lashner, and I even have to love it a little. Phil Kubiak, the narrator and protagonist, comes from a hard scrabble life. His main motivation in life is money, although noirishly, sex figures into it too. When he lands a position in a high powered and secret fixer league he thinks he has it Is a psychopathic outlaw who can win your sympathy the ultimate in noir heroes? Probably because this was the ultimate noir. Now noir isn't my favorite, but I have to respect this rich and exciting effort by Lashner, and I even have to love it a little. Phil Kubiak, the narrator and protagonist, comes from a hard scrabble life. His main motivation in life is money, although noirishly, sex figures into it too. When he lands a position in a high powered and secret fixer league he thinks he has it made. But a strange kind of morality spoils his fun. I had fun reading this though and the animated illustrations added to it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mitsunori Ogihara

    Another Lashner masterpiece This is another amazing piece of work by Lashner. As usual, you need to read ten percent into the book before infatuation with the book. Lashner is such a writer who challenges you early on in the book for you to determine whether you like the book or not. There are so many great twists and the storytelling, which I do n9t want to divulge so as not ruin enjoyments of others. But, but, this is but a great book. Maybe this is the most cunning of all the Lashner books. Al Another Lashner masterpiece This is another amazing piece of work by Lashner. As usual, you need to read ten percent into the book before infatuation with the book. Lashner is such a writer who challenges you early on in the book for you to determine whether you like the book or not. There are so many great twists and the storytelling, which I do n9t want to divulge so as not ruin enjoyments of others. But, but, this is but a great book. Maybe this is the most cunning of all the Lashner books. Also, the words chosen are amazingly stylish and elegant. If you have enjoyed other Lashner books, you will not be disappointed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Phil Kubiak is broken, a self described psychopath and abomination, but that doesn't mean he's not ambitious. Regrettably he also has a self destructive streak, and trying to be a decent human being often conflicts with his desire to attain wealth, which can be a problem when you're working for a dark criminal empire. A Filthy Business by William Lashner is an appropriate title, and as Kubiak's life swirls down the toilet you'll have a hard time putting down this fiendishly entertaining, noirish Phil Kubiak is broken, a self described psychopath and abomination, but that doesn't mean he's not ambitious. Regrettably he also has a self destructive streak, and trying to be a decent human being often conflicts with his desire to attain wealth, which can be a problem when you're working for a dark criminal empire. A Filthy Business by William Lashner is an appropriate title, and as Kubiak's life swirls down the toilet you'll have a hard time putting down this fiendishly entertaining, noirish novel. A very strong 4 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    K C

    My 3 year old accidentally bought this book while playing with my Kindle. It wasn't my usual read, but I kept it and gave it a shot. Destiny, or something, right? I was enthralled right from the beginning. The characters are interesting and exciting, and the plot is engrossing. I spent every moment I had reading it. The tone is a perfect mix of levity and darkness. It never felt too hokey or too heavy. A real delight from beginning to end. My 3 year old accidentally bought this book while playing with my Kindle. It wasn't my usual read, but I kept it and gave it a shot. Destiny, or something, right? I was enthralled right from the beginning. The characters are interesting and exciting, and the plot is engrossing. I spent every moment I had reading it. The tone is a perfect mix of levity and darkness. It never felt too hokey or too heavy. A real delight from beginning to end.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Zieger

    I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. The kindle in motion really added to the story. This was one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time. It was as if Red from the Blacklist and Ray Donovan were the same person. This book was no where near what I expected. It had twists and turns that just keep you going page after page. There is not a single dull moment in this book. I loved the style and the way the story developed by the end. Excellent! Definitely read this!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steve Black

    I read this immediately after Freedom Road and it's not as good as that one, which was 5* for me. This one is overly long, and occasionally gets too philosophical for its own good. Having said that, it is an unusual and intriguing plot, the dialogue and writing is Lashner's usual high standard and there are a multitude of twists and turns. A door has been left open for a possible sequel, which would be welcome. I read this immediately after Freedom Road and it's not as good as that one, which was 5* for me. This one is overly long, and occasionally gets too philosophical for its own good. Having said that, it is an unusual and intriguing plot, the dialogue and writing is Lashner's usual high standard and there are a multitude of twists and turns. A door has been left open for a possible sequel, which would be welcome.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    A lawyer who has failed at being an attorney & a gold certificate salesman becomes a "fixer" for an underground organization offering solutions to otherwise unsolvable problems for a fee. If you ever enjoyed a Parker novel by Richard Stark (Donald E Westlake) or believe in conspiracies this book is for you. I was a bit disappointed at the end because I wanted to know what the protagonist did next. A lawyer who has failed at being an attorney & a gold certificate salesman becomes a "fixer" for an underground organization offering solutions to otherwise unsolvable problems for a fee. If you ever enjoyed a Parker novel by Richard Stark (Donald E Westlake) or believe in conspiracies this book is for you. I was a bit disappointed at the end because I wanted to know what the protagonist did next.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean Jones

    Startlingly different Slow and a little monotonous to start with, but turned out to be a slow burner that fizzed and crackled when it really got started. Twists and turns driven by a dry humour that draws the book along at a fine clip.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    A fast and fun ride of a story Interesting plot and absorbing characters. A little predictable at times but that in no way detracts from the enjoyment of this dirty little tale. Be prepared to root for the bad guy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jody K

    Holy Cow! I love a good anti-hero! This is what fiction is all about. Plot. Character. Imagery. Dialogue. I am left shaken by how great this book is. The person who cast this audiobook reader is a genius at her/his job. It was a perfect pairing. I can't wait to read more from this author. Holy Cow! I love a good anti-hero! This is what fiction is all about. Plot. Character. Imagery. Dialogue. I am left shaken by how great this book is. The person who cast this audiobook reader is a genius at her/his job. It was a perfect pairing. I can't wait to read more from this author.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steve Bivins

    Filthy Business is a good story by great author William Lashner is the kind of writer who tells a story. Some writers build stories around characters. At least that's what I believe and I'm sticking to my "story"....a very good piece of work. Filthy Business is a good story by great author William Lashner is the kind of writer who tells a story. Some writers build stories around characters. At least that's what I believe and I'm sticking to my "story"....a very good piece of work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Terry Retter

    The twists in this story told in the middle of the desert between LA and Las Vegas has some twists that are unexpected. Some surprises are better than others however, so find the one that is best for you.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rich Costanzo

    Different but good! The way this story is told was quite different, but really good. All of the characters brought there’re own special drama to the story. And the ending was the best yet.

  24. 4 out of 5

    E Taylor

    Could have been a five Clever plot, convincing antihero. Well written as all of Mr Lashner's work seems to be. But please, please lose the video/graphics! This is a book. Words. I the reader use my mind to visualize the characters and scenes! Otherwise there is Netflix. Could have been a five Clever plot, convincing antihero. Well written as all of Mr Lashner's work seems to be. But please, please lose the video/graphics! This is a book. Words. I the reader use my mind to visualize the characters and scenes! Otherwise there is Netflix.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Steve Black

    Another good solid tale from William Lashner. Fairly implausible, but told in interesting format so we know from the outset where the chief protagonist has ended up and there book reveals how he got there.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    VERY Different story Enjoyed this book because it was a very different story.. The characters were unusual and the plot was a mind blower. I've enjoyed all his books and this is no exception. Veritas, renamed Truth, is not to miss. VERY Different story Enjoyed this book because it was a very different story.. The characters were unusual and the plot was a mind blower. I've enjoyed all his books and this is no exception. Veritas, renamed Truth, is not to miss.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shari Mellin

    I think Lashner is a good writer but this one didn't impress me at all. Read it if you like your main characters to be psychopaths; otherwise skip this one. I never connected with the characters at all. I think Lashner is a good writer but this one didn't impress me at all. Read it if you like your main characters to be psychopaths; otherwise skip this one. I never connected with the characters at all.

  28. 4 out of 5

    William Myers Jr.

    I just finished "A Filthy Business," and loved it. The story will brilliantly inventive. The dialogue sharp enough to cut a diamond. Kudos to William Lashner. I just finished "A Filthy Business," and loved it. The story will brilliantly inventive. The dialogue sharp enough to cut a diamond. Kudos to William Lashner.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ray Jamiolkowski

    A Guilty Pleasure Wonderfully written and highly disturbing. Gives insight to the mind of a psychopath. Lashner is definitely an author worth reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Gripping tale of an outlaw! Couldn't put this one down. Loved the graphics, moving pictures and stills which all contributed to the telling of this story. Gripping tale of an outlaw! Couldn't put this one down. Loved the graphics, moving pictures and stills which all contributed to the telling of this story.

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