INVASIONS by Eugene Izzi


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Another fierce crime thriller from Izzi (Bad Guys and The Booster, 1988, etc.), this one about a master thief and the crumbling of his world. The thief is Frank Vale, a.k.a. ""The Iceman"" for the cold nerves that have earned him millions on his ""home invasions"" but that have also kept him emotionally frozen--as unsubtly symbolized by his lonely house complete with hidden survival chamber in the basement. Frank's fortress life, however--legacy of abusive, drunken parents--is cracking open: he's falling for the feisty lady-lawyer next door, and his younger brother Jimmy is about to come home after nine years in prison (several early, grippingly brutal scenes here depict Jimmy's last day in jail as he barely survives a race riot). Moreover, a band of sociopathic, corrupt cops is after Frank for refusing to cut them in on his scores, and a power-struggle in the Chicago mob is about to suck Frank in as Jimmy--as a last favor to his prison gang--agrees to snuff the Windy City's top mobster, gone crazy from too much coke. No way that Frank--a typical Izzi hero, with his good heart in a bad job--will let Jimmy go after the mafioso alone, so he joins Jimmy on the hit. Meanwhile, those bent cops have kidnapped their boss--unmasked as an undercover cop investigating them--as well as Frank's lady-love, and trail the brothers to the mansion. And at the same time, the marked mobster sends goons after Frank and Jimmy. A bloodbath ensues--but one that washes away only the bad guys, leaving the good ones high and dry. The suspenseful plot pinwheels all over the place, and character motivations lean heavily on textbook sociology or sentimentality--but the action is tough, knowing, and nasty enough to satisfy even jaded hard-boiled-crime fans.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Publisher: Bantam