THE LAST SCAM by David Harris

THE LAST SCAM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Pot-runner Henry Amazon tires after twelve years of evading arrest and decides to run his last scam from Mexico when he sees The Patchooli Kid, his former partner, blasted off the road by the Federales. So Amazon plans to drive one load north to dealer Fat Albert of Jersey City--and, on the profits of that sale, he'll bring in a two-engine Cessna to fly out 1250 pounds of ""Kind"" (a seedless super-marijuana dripping with resin) worth $1,500,000. But, when Fat Albert falls $3,000 short on the first payment, Amazon needs cash to pay the growers of the ""Kind."" He winds up involved again, therefore, with another former partner, Ramon Ramon (who ran off with Amazon's girlfriend): for $5,000 he'll help Ramon to score some rare blond hash. Enter, then, however: Drug Enforcement Administration agents Purdee Fletcher and ""Hog"" Wissle--on loan to Mexico--who are eager to bust Ramon. Amazon and Ramon escape the agents' first trap; two cohorts are less fortunate, being tortured and murdered by the Mexican police (who are depicted throughout as a ghastly crew of raping ghouls). At last able to deliver his first load to Fat Albert, Amazon flies back for the last scam--but (thanks to that stool-pigeon girlfriend) the big haul starts to fall apart, with Purdee and the Federales closing in on Amazon's secret airstrip. And there's a pat happy ending, with the hero-dope-runner flying off, leaving the foul Drug Enforcement agent with a dead innocent girl and reprimands in the offing. For a more balanced, somewhat more convincing portrait of the sins on both sides of the drug business, see Laurence Gonzales' flawed but much steadier The Last Deal (p. 1020). Harris' violent yet cutesy tale (everybody has a catchy nickname), told in a mix of dope lingo and police-procedural monotone, is chiefly for those eager to read about the sadism and general sickness of narcotics agents.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Delacorte