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WINNER'S CUT by Preston Pairo



Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1986
Publisher: Richardson & Steirman (246 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10001)

A derivative police procedural--but from a talented first novelist--all about life and death in the fast lane in gauzy Miami. There's this young, handsome narcotics cop, see, works undercover for the Miami-Dade Police Department, dresses like a drug dealer, drives expensive cars, maybe doesn't shave as often as he could. Sound familiar? Well, this guy's name is Eddie ""Slick"" Gant. As the novel opens, he's just escaped unscathed from his three-dozenth shoot-out with the bad guys, but there's a straight-arrow Internal Affairs honcho gunning for him, so Eddie's boss takes him out of narcotics and puts him on a nice, quiet homicide investigation--which naturally turns out to be a nasty kettle of fish, indeed. A violent, many a.k.a'd Dominican hustler named Juavier Mendez has just kidnapped and murdered the daughter of an American weapons systems genius who has invented a portable atomic bomb that Mendez wants to sell to the highest bidder. Eddie follows him to a nicely atmospheric Barbados, where Mendez turns into a cornered animal, savagely gunning down the weapons systems man and his partner (an elegantly corrupt executive named Anthony Marsh) before being blown away by Gant. Since the A-bomb deal never went down, there's several hundred thousand in loose, dirty cash lying around; Eddie thinks for about two seconds, grabs it, and, at the close, is just about to hop the next flight for London. Pairo owes a great debt--with interest--to Miami Vice and Elmore Leonard, but the novel finally manages a flashy vitality all its own.