Fast and literate suspense by an ex-con and former narc (The Catch, 1998, etc.).
Wozencraft’s life experiences stand in well for her story about 24-year-old female cop Diane Wellman, in Bolton, Texas, who is falsely accused of cocaine possession and sentenced to a federal prison where she bunks with Gail Rubin, who has been in for 20 years, just watched her parole interview go south, and has 12 more years to go. She too was falsely accused of being part of an aggressive civil-rights team’s successful bank robbery that caused two deaths. When arrested, she’d also supposedly been in possession of a cellar full of firearms and explosives. As a cop, Diane had come upon a triple murder in the woods and seen the white murderer as he fled. The police chief, however, jails a black perp, who lands on death row. To shut Diane up, the chief has her doped with knockout drops, plants cocaine in her fridge, and alerts the DEA to arrest her. At first, Diane just wants to serve her ten years, but when Gail prepares for a jailbreak Diane decides to go along, head back for Bolton, and find some transcripts that will exonerate her and free the perp on death row. The two women manage their escape but find that, as they flee, life on the outside is far more harrowing than life in a cell. Both turn paranoid about pursuit and the cop that may walk up to them at any moment and send them back to jail. They thumb a ride to Manhattan, pick up Gail’s family money, get fancy hair styling and bright garb, entrain to Chicago, then separate and meet up in Oklahoma City. Although the suspense remains heavy, the larger subject is the mental state of being prison-breakers wanted in a nationwide manhunt. The two plan to fly to France—but first Diane must clear her name.
Weighty with nervous fears detailed at length, yet gripping all the way.