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DARK HOMECOMING by Eric Van Lustbader


by Eric Van Lustbader

Pub Date: July 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-671-00329-1
Publisher: Pocket

 Leaving behind the comic-strip leaps and blows of his nimble Ninjas (Floating City, 1994, etc.), Lustbader constructs an entire actioner set in the Miami area. No more worldwide crime cartels masterminded by Asians? Well, let's not get carried away. Yes, there is just such a cartel, but it's masterminded by Heitor and Antonio Bonita, a pair of bloody identical twins born bad. They run a cartel that deals in arms, drugs, white slavery, you name it, and they run it behind a line of front men who take the heat should the law intrude. One of the twins' specialties is dealing in human body organs that they harvest illegally in the States and airship to Central and South America. Scalpel-wielding Heitor likes to remove the organs while the ``donor'' is still alive. On their trail, meanwhile, is the Department of Justice. Although longtime Lustbader cop and hero Lewis Croaker has retired to captain a Miami charter boat, he's still a stringer for the Agency and carries a badge. Burned out and unwilling to be drawn back into the action, Croaker is facing a family crisis: His drug-addicted 15-year-old niece Rachel, now on dialysis, will be dead in five days if she doesn't receive a replacement kidney. Croaker sets out to find a donor. As it happens, fabulously smooth criminal lawyer Marcellus Rojas Diego Majeur offers him both a vintage turquoise Mustang and a kidney for Rachel if Croaker will just assassinate the dazzlingly vicious Juan Garcia Barbacena (he cuts off women's breasts in his lighter moments), the Bonita twins' greatest rival in terror. Croaker suddenly finds himself in a bafflingly strange and dangerous world: Nobody is what he (or she) seems, and even the Justice team Croaker reluctantly hooks up with is seemingly run by a very bad guy indeed. . . . Lustbader's intense flow of invention is wonderful to watch: Wild, gory, assured over-the-top entertainment throughout.