THE MIRACLE STRIP by Nancy Bartholomew


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Denise Curtis’s dog Arlo may just look like a mutt to you, but somebody thinks he’s worth $100,000—that’s what the ransom note demands—and Denise is so intent on getting him back that she seems to agree. There are only two problems. One: When Sierra Lavotini accompanies her distraught friend back to her place, they find it thoroughly tossed (the first of many such occurrences in this housekeeper’s nightmare of a first novel) and decorated with a dead body Sierra could swear Denise recognizes. Two: Quicker than you can say, “Where’s Arlo?,” Denise disappears too. So recovering the lady and her dog, and keeping the cops at bay, is all up to Sierra, a stripper at the Tiffany, a club so exclusive that she keeps her G-string on. Sierra is at once the biggest draw in the story and its most unbelievable creation. She’s meant to be tough but adorable, like a Damon Runyon ingÇnue, though her tiresome insistence on her own virtue (“I’m a good girl, really I am,” she tells her disapproving father) and on Denise’s (“Could a sociopath own such a good dog?”) drains much of the tension from her tale, which is left cruising on the shoulders of bikers, druglords, chases, gunshots, crazies, and other weightlessly thrilling devices familiar to every fan of the Lethal Weapon franchise. Still, you’ve got to have a soft spot for an exotic dancer who centers herself by meditating before every performance—unless, of course, the routine is too alienating to validate her inner child.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-19299-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998


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