Everyone’s getting squeezed in Hebert’s fast, slick debut thriller.
You’d think Jack Murray would deserve a break, since he’s just done four years for a burglary Rudy Maxa walked away from with all the swag. But no sooner does Jack tell their boss Caesar Pelli that he wants to go straight than the pressure starts to mount again. Instead of saying yes or no, Caesar puts Jack in charge of his strip club, supposedly a transitional job where he can practice keeping on the up-and-up. It’s there that Jack meets stripper Shelly Suxxx, who’s really FBI agent Miranda Mendoza, a kindred spirit also getting squeezed between two jobs. Now that Rudy’s working for badass crime lord Tiras Williams, the pressure’s on him to report back on every move his mistrustful old friend makes if he doesn’t want to end up in a shallow grave. Even Caesar, whose organization is under investigation by every cop in south Florida, and Tiras, who’s planning a large-scale gun deal with Rudy’s ex-boss, Atlanta gangster Lloyd Bone, feel as if they’re getting squeezed. And when the contents are under this much pressure, there’s no telling what might erupt.
Hebert doesn’t have Elmore Leonard’s lazy humor, or his effortless way of making every clipped sentence snap and sing. But he’s already got something of Leonard’s talent for kicking lowlifes into a breakneck pace, and he doesn’t mind killing off minor characters to make a point. An author to watch.