FIGURE OF EIGHT by Patrick Lynch

FIGURE OF EIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A relentless, clock-stopping psychothriller about a neurotic Ukrainian figure-skating champion trying to make it in Hollywood, her marginally psychotic bodyguard, and the insidious stalker who guards a secret that could shatter her career. Quirky, unpredictable Yelena —Ellen— Cusak gave up skating when her father died. Now, at 25, with a failed marriage behind her, she’s developed the reputation of a sacred monster. Her sleazy handler, Lenny Mayot, has big-money dreams for his beautiful Olympic star, most of which fade because she refuses to kowtow to Hollywood gatekeepers. Ellen is almost broke, reduced to giving lessons to the skating daughters of well-heeled parents, when a woman’s corpse—a victim of a slasher murder—is discovered on her property. Add to this a stalker, the third to pester her so far. But, unlike his predecessors, the —Ice Man— can slip into and out of Ellen’s house, and knows intimate details about her life. As she totters on the edge of a breakdown, Lenny hires Pete Golding, a former cop turned gung-ho ’security consultant,— whose zeal at protecting the rich and famous frequently explodes into tough-guy violence. Despite the inevitable spark of romantic heat that ensues, Golding gets no help from Ellen, who refuses to explain whatever it is the stalker appears to know about her. Golding identifies the stalker as —Bob,— an Internet oddball whose Ellen-worshiping drivel indicates a prior relationship with the skater, as well as a weirdly sincere desire to help her professionally. Then Golding tracks Bob—and the corpse—to a fertility clinic Ellen visited long ago, when she and her husband wanted a child. Meantime, Bob wires Ellen’s house with explosives he hopes will persuade her to be his forever, dead or alive. A formula plot, been-there-done-that characters, and the tired, hothouse settings of L.A. noir should not add up to a breathless, gory, thoroughly enjoyable exercise in genre suspense. Yet Lynch (The Policy, 1998, etc.) delivers this, and more, with almost effortless ease.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-525-94510-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1999




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