THE VENUS FLY-TRAP by John Wainwright


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The Venus Fly-Trap is supposedly a top, swank London nightclub (though Wainwright somehow can't portray it as anything but sleazy); Sidney Palmer is a waiter there, his son Eddie leads the super jazz combo, and daughter Daphne is a regular customer--she's a mobster's tart, and her decadent life is driving Sidney, Eddie, and mother Freda crazy. Then, after Eddie gets beat up by Daphne's thuggy guy, he resolves to take revenge--but his mum gets there first: she shoots a man (through a closet wall), but it turns out to be not Daphne's thug but another thug. It's all been set up by the mob, see, and there's still more to come: Sidney gets arrested for the killing, but though he's acquitted, he loses his job and then winds up in a cat-and-mouse duel-to-the-death with the mob. . . . Yes, it's Wainwright at his pulpiest, with awful purple patches in between the feverish violence and noisy confrontations. Abysmal.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's