When first seen by Bill Ferris, feeling the full weight of his 40 years, Clara in her blue jeans is just a prettier version of his own youngster. And with or without them, she's just as creamy and delicious as Lolita and also just as sly and untruthful and helpless and tenacious and ruinous. Bill Ferris is forced, at the point of a gun, to pick her up along with Sam on the road and to put them up for a couple of days in his mountain vacation house. A day later she shoots Sam and he learns they've both been involved in an 83,000 dollar burglary and another homicide. By that time he's sufficiently hooked on her to agree to help her get away alone. Only he can't leave her alone. And from that time it's a fast track, on foot across the mountains, to Palm Springs, and then down and across the border, and then. . . . The book is exactly what it represents -- one of those shiny short-term affairs -- urgent and ept.