A grim '90s noir caper by the celebrated ex-con author of Little Boy Blue (1981), etc. Troy Cameron is a savvy, good-looking...



A grim '90s noir caper by the celebrated ex-con author of Little Boy Blue (1981), etc. Troy Cameron is a savvy, good-looking sociopath whose career goal is to be an outlaw with a lifetime income. Diesel Cameron, a tight friend he made at reform school, has a wife, a son, and a job with the teamsters that doesn't involve anything more serious than breaking legs and torching the occasional truck. Mad Dog McCain, the faithful companion who once got himself tossed into the hole to save Troy's parole, solves tough problems by killing the people who pose them. When Troy gets sprung from San Quentin, the three of them--their loyalties overriding but not mitigating their wary distrust of each other--team up in hopes of pulling a job that will get them out of the loop for good. It's a pipe dream, of course. Figuring that the best victims are criminals who can't run to the police, Troy and his buddies kidnap a baby druglord and force him to turn over a fat stash to them, as the dialogue bristles and the action crackles with authenticity. But a second kidnapping--snatching a major smuggler's infant as collateral for an uncollectible debt the smuggler owes a trafficker now lording it over a Mexican prison--goes wrong in a horrifyingly funny way, and the three conspirators find themselves on the run, wanted by every cop in California, and predictably at odds with each other. Throughout this brutal catalog of crimes, Bunker has his own axe to grind--the insanity of a three-strikes law that makes any two-time loser willing to kill to avoid being picked up on the smallest felony charge--but what lingers in the memory is the single-mindedness of his doomed hoodlums, who can't focus on anything but survival, revenge, and the big score. A jolt of frozen adrenaline, relieved only by the walk-ons of the latest accomplices and victims.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 1996

ISBN: 0312168187

Page Count: 240

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996