LAST SHOT by Philip Loraine


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Less impressive than Loraine's other recent mini-thrillers (Loaded Questions, A Sea-Change), this thin adventure begins when Joanna Sorensen, American production coordinator for a British film shooting on location in Marseilles, sets off to dispatch a reel of just-shot film to London. . .and is near-fatally ambushed on her way to the airport. And for the next 100 pages or so Joanna scurries about like a trembling gothic heroine--fleeing shadowy villains, hiding the film, seeking help (but always doubting) her French boyfriend Marc--while Loraine lapses into amateurish authorial asides. (""If anyone had told her that the complications were only just beginning she would not have believed them."") Things improve somewhat when we eventually learn why this film is so precious: the camera crew unknowingly photographed the notorious Mrs. Charles Foxley--supposedly dead for seven months, but really secretly alive--in cahoots with her gangster-lover in a scheme to bilk her tycoon-husband. So both sides in this domestic nastiness want to get their ruthless hands on the incriminating film--and while Joanna just wants to escape alive, Marc decides to make the most of the situation. There's potential here for comic capering, but Loraine takes a mostly humorless, humdrum approach. And the result is routine, creaky suspense, further undermined by Loraine's hilarious ineptitude in writing US slang for Joanna (e.g., to condemn a popular movie, she calls it ""shmuck"" instead of ""shlock"").

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's