RAT'S NEST by Charles West


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West's second US publication (after Funnelweb, 1989) propels American John Tallis, odd-jobbing it around the world, to Australia, where he quickly falls in love with Helen Simmons, only to have her gunned down in his arms on the street. Why Helen? There was nothing exceptional about her background, he thinks--and then truly filthy pictures of her emerge, plus the fact that she's a married woman. Faced with a vast discrepancy between his memories of Helen and tidbits the police uncover, John hunts for the truth, and uncovers a prostitution ring, mob-connections, and links to a vile American enforcer known as the Dancer and to a racketeer, Rick Lucy. Then he discovers Helen's doppelganger, Diana, the real woman in those lascivious pictures. Was Helen killed mistakenly? Did Diana set her up? Will The Dancer catch up to John before he finds the answers? Several twists later, John pieces together a tawdry tale that may have begun years ago with Helen's adoption. The identity scam is a bit strained, but, overall, this is fast-paced, involving, casually readable.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1990
Publisher: Walker