My share of normal life, security, idealism, childhood. . . was put in God's Cuisinart and shredded."" So says 27-year-old...

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SOMETHING FOR NOTHING

My share of normal life, security, idealism, childhood. . . was put in God's Cuisinart and shredded."" So says 27-year-old Molly Stone, an accomplished thief, in this depth-diving, air-tight first novel. And Molly tells how she set out to repossess some shreds of what she has lost, ""to steal my home back while civilization falls apart."" The story goes back to childhood on a New Jersey farm, to her father's suicide, to her mother's remarriage and death. A brief semblance of family security follows--with stepfather Ron (a crude alcoholic), stepbrother David, and brother Terry--but then Terry is ""accidentally"" killed on his motorcycle and Ron, before dying, sells off the family farm parcel by parcel to Caroma, a neighboring Mafia-type heavy. So now Molly's home is the run-down boarding house that David (into booze and drugs) has inherited from Ron. And, with her college education cut short, she teaches herself the ""relevant and necessary"" values and skills--scam, heist, and shoplifting. Molly's goal: to gather $40,000 to pay back taxes on the farm and share it with David (she convinces herself that she loves this sinister creep). Her accomplice: weak-willed ""hippie dealer"" Jim, whom she persuades to help her heist stolen art from Caroma's cellar--via keys duplicated from Caroma's gofer, with whom Molly is having a jackrabbit affair. And the well-schooled caper is successful, netting work by Cezanne, Renoir, Braque, and Sisley. But: ""Commit a crime and the world is made of glass""--as Molly will find out when the mob chief moves in. Kilgore impressively details Molly's matchstick fortress of tactics with vivid evocation of the heartbeat pounding through Molly's terrors and hectic euphorias. But, more than mere suspense, this is the chilled monitoring of a nightmare flight to a nowhere past, complete with shopping-mall suburban scenery so polluted with drear that it can bring on a migraine. A fully-dimensioned icer, then, delivering a whammo impact.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 1981

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1981