LINE BY LINE by Amy Schor


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Beth Ross--the dirty-talking suburban teenager who's the ludicrously inconsistent narrator here--moves to Manhattan and promptly falls for Jordan Turner, a glamorous, light-skinned black neighbor: ""My heart was beating so fast, I hoped it wasn't conspicuous."" And though Jordan eventually courts her (""He held my hand. . . RAPTURE""), he never makes love to her; even stranger--though Jordan did give Beth some cocaine at their first meeting--is Beth's discovery of a bathtub-ful of cocaine in Jordan's apartment. What's going on? Well, unbeknownst to Beth, Jordan is an ex-con/drug-dealer/hoodlum whose boss demands that Beth be recruited for prostitution and odd jobs. And, though warned against Jordan by her friend Shelley, infatuated Beth finds herself helping Jordan to track down a sleazy jeweler who owes the hoods money (they want to kill him)--after which Jordan shows his real self by beating Beth, humiliating her (""He unzipped his fly, drew out his warm flesh, and peed all over me""), and threatening her with death unless she works for the gang. So at last, as this crude little novel turns into a below-average Police Woman episode (without, alas, Angie Dickinson), Beth goes to the cops--who use her as an undercover-agent to get the goods on the bad guys: she suffers through prostitution (""He jammed his cock in my rear"") and rages at the cops (""You fucked with my life, you used me and let me be abused in ways that make me sick to my stomach""). . . though the bad guys do get caught. Supposedly based on a real case--but too grossly amateurish and cheaply lurid to be believable, suspenseful, or involving.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1981
Publisher: Marek--dist. by Putnam