Headlong, dust-billowing suspense thriller, the best yet from Craig (Hot Plastic, 2004, etc.), who spins a father-daughter tale about a Hell’s Angel and a hell’s angel.
The story explodes from a jaw-dropping opening that kicks into a booklong chase. At 14, Lydia Jane Carson cut loose from her high-toned West Hollywood home and unbearable mother and stepfather to seek a whole new life. Now 17, she flaps about in hell as mistress to Jonah Pincerna, an intense, cold, high-up middleman in a drug cartel. In the first scene, Jonah and his honchos take her on a vengeful mission involving missing drugs, but as the bodies drop, Lydia goes berserk, shoots Jonah, and races off on foot into the Topanga Canyon hills. The story then divides into separate narratives of Lydia’s present difficulties, her experiences over the past three years, her biker father’s current life, and the early adventures that landed him some heavy time in the slammer. Now out on parole, John Link earns his keep as a tattoo artist and lives in a trailer. Knowing that the cartel will be after her with all its hellhounds, and that she hasn’t a chance to escape them, Lydia figures maybe her ex–Hell’s Angel dad can help. She phones, and their bonding lifts off into bitter but loving father-daughter whiplash chitchat that makes the reader feel deep affection for these mutually bewildered characters. Kong-like John, a social misfit who might tear someone’s arm off to beat in his skull, grasps but can’t bear Lydia’s vast, alien teenage wisdom and despair. He’s also spooked by her fearlessness among bar rapists and some really, really bad people whom she charms with jokes and wry humor. As this odd couple takes flight, first in John’s piece-of-junk car and then on his huge Harley Davidson chopper, the nervy laughs pop into tense overdrive, and the fears never fade.
So good already, but crying out for a movie adaptation.