AN ASSASSIN PREPARES by N.J. McIver

AN ASSASSIN PREPARES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Readers who get the joke of the title--a take-off on Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares--are those most likely to enjoy this wry, farcical N.Y.C. tangle: all about what happens when an out-of-work actor agrees to pretend to be a hit man for hire. This likable narrator-hero is soap-opera has-been Elliot Fenway (nÉ Feinstein), who--reluctant but in dire economic straits--lets chum Jerry De Marco (a feeble stand-up comic) talk him into the scam: Elliot will meet a mystery-woman (some acquaintance of Jerry's), agree to kill somebody for her, solicit a $4000 down-payment. . .and then take-the-money-and-run. But it soon becomes a lot more complicated than that, of course. The supposed murder-target is a Mob-connected restaurateur; the mystery-woman is his larcenous moll--or is she, like Elliot, just playing a role? Either way, the Mob has been monitoring the whole charade--and so has the NYPD! Both forces start applying pressure (sometimes violent) on poor Elliot, who's understandably confused. Then dead bodies start surfacing, Elliot falls for the mystery-woman (is she a killer?), pal Jerry turns out to be a far from innocent bystander. . .and, meanwhile, Elliot's career (such as it is) is falling apart. Slightly headache-inducing in its plot-twists, but small-scale fun nonetheless--with smart-alecky dialogue and shrewd show-biz asides--from the droll author of Come Back, Alice Smythereene.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1988
Publisher: Doubleday