WEST ON 66 by James H. Cobb


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And now, for something a little different, Cobb time-travels back from the 21st century and the world of technothrillers (Sea Strike, 1998, etc.) to 1957 and the world of, well, Jack Kerouac. Meet vacationing Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Pulaski, who loves his hot, custom-built—57 Chevy and every bend in the fabled Route 66. At a truck stop on his way home from a family visit in Chicago, Kevin encounters that staple of mystery fiction, a beautiful if dangerous damsel in distress. On the spot, she transforms him into a combination road warrior and knight-errant. Lysette Kingman is the daughter of notorious but now dead mobster Johnny 32. More importantly, she’s the stepdaughter of the ruthless, alive, and repellent Mace Spanno, once her dad’s comrade in thuggery. Some years ago, Johnny double-crossed his low-life partner and stole a quarter of a million from him. Though Spanno caught and killed Johnny, the money was never found. Now, Spanno’s convinced Lysette knows where it is, which is why he’s been tracking her so assiduously—and why she so desperately needs the protection of a brave and resourceful hard-driver like Kevin. (She also thinks he’s cute.) From Chicago to the Mojave Desert, Lysette and Kevin follow the “Mother Road” while Spanno and his evil henchmen follow them in turn—much too closely. Fistfights and firefights ensue, interspersed with a couple of above-average love scenes. Inevitably, Spanno and Kevin connect, go one-on-one with guns blazing, after which both collect their just (and contrasting) rewards. Cobb’s prose is sometimes as souped-up as Kevin’s beloved Chevy, but by the finish you’ve had a pretty entertaining ride.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-20621-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000


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