NOWHERE TO HIDE by James Elliott


Email this review


 Derivative New York police procedural assembled from many bits and pieces of cheesy film noir and ultraviolent tough-cop thrillers. Though she's only 29, impossibly beautiful Nicole ``Niki'' Bass, the femme fatale with a heart of gold in Elliott's follow-up to his Washington thriller, Cold Cold Heart (1994), has managed to save up $900,000 in 18 months working the not-so-mean streets of Manhattan's East Side as a $1,000-per-hour prostitute. Shortly after turning down a five-carat diamond, a deluxe European getaway, and marriage (with a $100,000 money-back guarantee!) from mafia lawyer and accountant Michael Onorati, Bass watches Vincent Genero, the foulmouthed boss-of-bosses blow Onorati's skull apart for absconding with millions in Gambino family funds. While Genero and his cronies are savoring their kill, Bass takes off with Onorati's cash-packed briefcase, which also contains a computer disc detailing where the mob money went. Since she's the only witness to the crime, Genero wants Bass dead. After a hideous scene in which her Mayflower-Madam boss is tortured with a blowtorch, Bass winds up a protected witness with NYPD Detective Jack Kirby as her bodyguard. A guilt-ridden action hero whose marriage ended when his young daughter accidentally killed herself with his gun, Kirby permits himself to fall in love with Bass, who clearly knows more about high finance than she's letting on. Meanwhile, Carmine Molino, the next in line as wiseguy king, hires suavely vicious Cuban assassin Antonio Zamora as part of a scheme to rid himself of Genero and Bass, who, like all fantasy prostitutes, can't help but fall in love with Kirby. Champagne-soaked sex scenes and slick shoot-outs in expensive hotel rooms add nothing to this lifeless, film-me-please action tale reminiscent of the procedurals of the late William Caunitz, to whom the book is dedicated. (Film rights to Quentin Tarantino; Literary Guild alternate selection)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-82362-4
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1997