Don't get discouraged when Chapter 3 of this antic first novel begins with a flashback within a flashback; from there on in, the rest of the story roars along like the London mail. In outline it's simple enough: Two days after hearing suspicious noises coming from the flat of Puffa Group's new hired gun, Alan Denton—noises that make him wonder if, well, Alan hasn't perhaps raped and murdered Claire Vogel, the sweet young thing who went inside with him and hasn't been seen since—Puffa marketing chief Steve Cork, who's just been pleading with Alan not to fire Steve's co-founder, fashion designer Tony Mold, finds that slick Alan has eased him out instead. Revenge for his all-too-apt suspicions about Alan, Steve assumes, and it's an easy conclusion to leap to. As the tale unfolds, though, you have to wonder how far you can trust Steve's paranoid perceptions, especially when he keeps going off the lithium prescribed for him after he smashed the mirror in his bedroom, thinking the image behind the glass was a doppelgÑnger assaulting his ex-model wife Liz. It's no wonder that Liz wants less and less to do with Steve; that the police harumph away his suspicions of Alan; and that even Kate Parker, the psychiatrist who takes him to her therapeutic bed, doesn't believe a word he's saying. Huggins's staccato, sexed-up delivery sounds like Patricia Highsmith on uppers and without sleep. But how can you resist a narrator who describes Prince Charles as ``The Man Who Would Be Tampon''?
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