Harry Murphy was on his way from an audition – spoiler alert: he didn’t get the part – when he ducked into a Chinese restaurant in hopes of emptying his bursting bladder. No such luck, so he used the wall in the alley outside instead. What he overheard while watering the bricks was enough to send him on a transatlantic flight in hopes of warning a complete stranger in London that someone – just who, Harry didn’t know – was planning to terminate his employment. Permanently.
Harry ended up coming home with a million in cash, a slutty British cop, and an assignment to continue the role of slightly crazy man in the middle. He played it to a “T”… and that’s about the size of Once a Crooked Man.
David McCallum – yes, that David McCallum: once Ilya Kuryakin, now Donald “Ducky” Mallard – has penned his first novel, a quirky (that’s putting it kindly) thriller with slight mystery overtones. Jam-packed with tropes and twists, not to mention a regrettably misongynistic rape subplot that leads to wedlock; Once a Crooked Man is basically the sort of novel that only a celebrity could get published without having to pay for the privilege. In short, it just ain't very good.
Skip it and watch "NCIS" or even "Man from U.N.C.L.E." reruns. I hear they may be available on Netflix.