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Crashed (Junior Bender #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,840 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
Junior Bender is a Los Angeles burglar with a magic touch. Since he first started breaking into houses when he was fourteen years old, he’s never once been caught. But now, after twenty-two years of an exemplary career, Junior has been blackmailed by Trey Annunziato, one of the most powerful crime bosses in LA, into acting as a private investigator on the set of Trey’s por ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Soho Crime (first published November 16th 2010)
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Oct 07, 2013 Trish rated it really liked it
”For most people who write thrillers and mysteries, creating crooks is more than half the fun. They’re intrinsically interesting because they’ve rejected the standard set of values and, since we all need values of some kind, they’ve invented their own. It was probably just a matter of time before I came up with a series that’s essentially all crooks.”—Tim Hallinan

Tim Hallinan wrote the quote above in the “Author’s Note” to the first book in his new series featuring Junior Bender ("Burglar to the
Nancy Oakes
Jul 22, 2013 Nancy Oakes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes snarky authors
Career-burgler Junior Bender has picked up a gig from a "facilitator," whose client wants Junior to steal a Paul Klee painting from some people who are currently on vacation. She has provided the layout and other info Junior will need to know -- but what she doesn't know is that there's a video camera that is tracking Junior's every move. Sadly, he discovers it too late...and the guy who monitors the stored recordings has him in a corner. He will either work for Trey Annunziato, "a third-generat ...more
Mike French
Sep 03, 2016 Mike French rated it really liked it
My first book that I have read from Timothy Hallinan,but certainly not my last! Very enjoyable and entertaining. The reason I read this book is GoodReads! Another member mentioned his name in his review of Duane Lindsay's-Missing Amanda. This the reason that GR is my favorite web site.
Mar 19, 2014 Jo rated it really liked it
Timothy Hallinan has created an intriguing, funny character in his Junior Bender mystery series set in Los Angeles. Readers first meet professional burglar Junior Bender in “Crashed’’.

But Junior is more than an ordinary burglar. His intelligence and skills have made him the go-to guy for crooks with problems. Do you want to know who stole your stolen painting? Then Junior is the person for the job, if you can put up with his wise-cracking remarks and moral streak (yes, a burglar can have a mora
Debbi Mack
Mar 07, 2016 Debbi Mack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
CRASHED is one of those novels that's a bit hard to categorize. It's sort of a thriller combined with a whodunnit.

However, it starts out looking very much like a crime caper. The story takes place in Los Angeles and surrounding area. The protagonist is a burglar named Junior Bender (which kept reminding me of Junior Walker, but that's another story) who's enlisted to steal some artwork from the home of a big criminal-type guy. But really that's neither here nor there, because after a chain of Ru
Jul 02, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rebecca
Recommended to Amy by: Nancy Pearl NPR
My favorite mystery authors have been dying off, one by one. With the demises of Donald Westlake and Robert B Parker, I was fearful of finding a decent story, told with intelligence and humor. But thanks to Nancy Pearl's recommendations NPR for books under the radar, I've discovered Hallinan, and his Junior Bender, and am a happy girl.

This is apparently the first in a newish series for Hallinan. (I've got the second requested at CCPL, and just saw that another one is due out any moment. Bender (
Nov 03, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it
Junior Bender is a burglar but he has some rather unique ways of approaching his jobs. Some of his methods will have you rolling on the floor laughing but they seem to work for him - at least most of the time. There are a few moments when the reader wonders if Junior will survive to steal another day.

An LA crime boss is producing a porn movie starring Thistle Downing. Thistle is a former child star who was loved by her fans but time has taken a toll on Thistle and she is currently living in a dr
Junior Bender has been a successful burglar since he was a teenage boy. However, everyone's luck runs out eventually, and when Junior is contracted to steal a Paul Klee painting, he finds he's been set up, a blackmail victim because of an inconvenient video surveillance system.

A Los Angeles crime boss, Trey Annunziato, needs Junior to protect her new movie project, a trilogy of porn films starring the former child television star, Thistle Downing. Someone is trying to shut Trey's production dow
Keith Johnson
Jul 06, 2013 Keith Johnson rated it did not like it
Again, I'm in the minority with my negative review on this one. SPOILERS: First off, the entire premise of the book is REE-DIC-U-LOUS!! Why would a crime organization blackmail a thief to solve a mystery? Why not an ex-cop, or a private investigator? They did not even know this guy, yet they are trusting him to protect a project worth millions of dollars. Yeah, that makes sense.

So right off the bat I'm taken out of the story. In addition, I hate chapter titles. They are pointless. They added to
May 24, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok
Sorry to be an outlier to what appear to be uniformly positive reviews, but this really wasn't my thing.

The "wow, Bender is really smart" parts came off to me as a stilted way for Hallman to show off how well read he is, the jokes weren't that great, the portrayal of women and homosexuals was troubling.

May 11, 2011 Celia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celia-can-read
Storyline: Timothy Hallinan has Crashed through any tired clichés about a burglar in L.A. turned detective mystery.

Junior Bender is your average guy… Drives an average car. Is newly divorced. Has a 12 year old daughter. Lives in L.A. Oh and he’s a burglar – an above average, quite talented burglar actually.

Junior has been, ahem, “hired” to help figure out who is trying to sabotage a highly expensive, highly anticipated adult film starring the world’s best known former child television star.

Aug 03, 2013 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Crashed has all the potential to be a book I love. I love thieves. I love mysteries. I like first person novels.

But I found myself struggling to get through. I finished it, which is something I very often don't do with a novel I can't quite find a friendship with.

But this novel should have been great.

Junior is very smart and Hallinan likes to make him narrate in a modern snarky voice. And to be clear, Hallinan is very good at this sort of snark. Which is fine for the occasional one line to pu
J Edward Tremlett
Feb 11, 2013 J Edward Tremlett rated it it was amazing
Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat: Junior Bender is a crook. A burglar, if you want to get technical.

Not that he's your typical thug; he's lick-smart, well-mannered, and very well-read. He could even be described as a decent guy, and goodness knows he's trying to be decent to his ex-wife and their teenage daughter. But he's still not to be trusted with your valuables -- if you happen to value them, anyway.

Being a thief gets him into trouble from time to time, but so does being a s
Nov 03, 2014 Jacqui rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller-mystery
I've been waiting for this book a long time, though I didn't know it was Timothy Hallinan's "Crashed" (Soho Crime 2013). What I wanted was more Elvis Cole, but Robert Crais only writes about one book every two years. I need one a week.

Now, I have a worthy alternative. Junior Bender, the hero in Hallinan's thief-who-solves-crimes series, is a good-hearted burglar who is at peace with his lifestyle. On his most recent job, Junior is set-up. To escape with his freedom, he must use his clever brain
Max Read
Jan 06, 2013 Max Read rated it really liked it
Timothy Hallinan is a serial book artist with three distinct novel centerpieces labeled for the protagonist in each: “The Junior Bender Series”, The “Poke Rafferty Series” and the “Simeon Grist Series”.

“Crashed”, the subject of this review is from the “Junior Bender Series” of comic criminal/ come detective stories staring Junior Bender a career burglar hired by criminals to investigate criminals. Right from the start the writing is excellent and probably was the one thing that fastens one to t
Jul 15, 2013 B.reader rated it it was amazing
Crashed was a pleasant surprise for me. I actually saw the sequel and wanted to read it, but there's something that irks me about beginning a series out of order, so I tried out Crashed, and it turned out to be a great move.

Lately I've become rather impatient with the antihero...I mean, aren't we supposed to read, to some extent, to find people we wouldn't have encountered in our own lives? The trendy antihero always seems to be some hapless schmuck who whines about his/her life while doing noth
Ambs ❤❤
Bender, a professional "crook". A well (self) educated "crook". A "crook" with a heart, and a good head on his shoulders.

I liked Bender immediately. He was funny, quick on his feet, thought outside the box, and I could tell immediately that he loved his daughter and the idea of a functional and happy family. Turns out he went to college, but learned more by reading a book. I won't explain it further, you'll have to read to understand, which I recommend for that aspect alone. I would love to giv
Jul 11, 2014 Laural rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a really good, straight-up mystery in a while and this one hit the spot. Just the right amount of wit, sharp writing, cheesy idioms, and interesting characters. There's some liberal use of the f-word, so take that into account before reading it.

The summary on the main page for this book is fairly misleading. I would say that Junior is burglar who has the great talent of getting in and out of places, a brain that's always assessing the situation and making the necessary connections
Aug 01, 2011 Philipc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In really enjoyed this book. It's funny, it's character-based, and the plot moves briskly. Junior, the anti-hero hero, is a petty crim with a heart of gold and a fatal inability to resist temptation - specifically, the temptation to help himself to other people's stuff. He's working on commission one day, asked to do a simple job inside a house that doesn't belong to him, when he notices a concealed wall-safe. For a man like Junior this is professional challenge, and he opens it and takes what's ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Viccy rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Junior Bender is a professional thief. He breaks into Rabbits Stennet's house and steals his Paul Klee painting but finds out he was recorded while doing the theft and now he has to work out a deal with some real low-lifes to get out of trouble. Thistle Downing was America's sweetheart during the 90s when she was "Once a Witch" on everyone's TV for seven seasons. Now drugs has taken their toll. Thistle and Junior come together as he tries to protect her from demons of several different persuasio ...more
Apr 18, 2014 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. Fun characters, real mystery and plot development. My favorite thing is that the story didn't just end with no resolution. I hate books that the end is two chapters that wrap everything up in a quick package and you are left feeling like "that was a let down". With this book, the last 1/4 was basically piecing together the mystery bit by bit so that you felt everything come together and felt like the resolution was as important as the story. I definitely plan to read th ...more
Sep 04, 2013 Kirk rated it really liked it
somewhere around the middle of the second chapter I seriously thought I was not going to enjoy this. by the end of the fourth chapter, I was hooked. this is creative and fun with a raucous set of characters. a "detective" novel with a very different feel and set of parameters than any other detective book I've read.
Feb 01, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it
Fantastic first-in-a-series with a Los Angeles burglar as the hero. Wonderful crooks and lots of thrills. I'm a big fan of Poke Rafferty, so this series gives me my Timothy Hallinan fix.....looking forward to plowing through all these too.
May 13, 2015 Sue rated it liked it
Tough one to review. I really, really like this author. I like the main character, and many of the supporting characters. But I found the plot weak and flawed.

I will read more, on the strength of my belief in the author and the recommendation of my daughter (who has read them all and likes them quite a bit.) Perhaps this was just a 'let's get to know Junior' book?
Frances Levy
Jul 01, 2013 Frances Levy rated it really liked it
A good yarn with plenty of smart-ass humor - in the manner of Nelson DeMille's John Corey - from main character Junior Bender. Junior is certainly memorable, a crook with a heart of gold, and I'm already looking forward to reading the planned series.

If you like writers DeMille or Donald E. Westlake, you'll really like "Crashed."
Aug 20, 2015 Lani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense-mystery
2.5 disappointed stars.

I loved The Poke series so much and know what kind of talent this author has, it just didn't shine through in this story.
I didn't like the characters nor the plot enough to read the next book in the series.
Pat Harris
Aug 11, 2013 Pat Harris rated it really liked it
This is much better than I anticipated. While the book blurb mentions a cross between Hiaasen and Westlake, i also thought of McDonald. Some very interesting characters including Lissa and her memorial garden. Will probably finish tonight and will get others by this engaging author.

Denis Barlow
Feb 14, 2013 Denis Barlow rated it really liked it
Excellent read, was not sure I was going to enjoy the book when I was reading the first few chapters but when we got the burglary over it improved out of all recognition
Sep 17, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it
This was fun to read. I look forward to more books about Junior Bender the fixer/burglar. He is intelligent and has an interesting moral compass. Enjoyed this murder mystery/fixer novel.
Dec 20, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it
My first Junior Bender book. No on to the next. It's going to make a good TV series.
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I'm a thriller and mystery novelist who divides his time between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, primarily Thailand, where I've has lived off and on for more than twenty years. As of now, I've had seventeen books published by major imprints.

My newest, THE HOT COUNTRIES (October 2014), is the seventh in a series of Bangkok thrillers about an American travel writer named Poke Rafferty and his small
More about Timothy Hallinan...

Other Books in the Series

Junior Bender (6 books)
  • Little Elvises (Junior Bender, #2)
  • The Fame Thief (Junior Bender, #3)
  • Herbie's Game (Junior Bender, #4)
  • King Maybe (Junior Bender, #5)
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“She gave me the slow nod women use to indicate that they understand our pain, they admire the courage with which we handle it, and they're absolutely certain that it's all our fault.” 4 likes
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