Boy meets girl, boy loves girl, girl gets kidnapped by hoods, boy rescues girl from torture, boy and girl get recaptured and tortured some more, boy and girl escape and kill hoods and run to Brazil. Okay, there are a few complications, and they make the first-half of this debut novel unusually friendly and likable. The boy, trucker Frank Limosin, is three times as old as the girl, who is illiterate, well-endowed Suki Flood; both are on the lam--Frank has $77,000 stashed in his van as Ms take from a ball-bearings heist; Suki has run out on bunco artist Simon Voorhees (Mink) with $311,000--and their May-December idyll on a Nevada mountaintop boxed in by wonderfully inept hired guns Mote and Jersey is buoyant and affecting. But once Suki falls back into the clutches of sadistic Mink and his equally depraved stepmother Charlotte, the reading audience shrinks to those few inquiring minds who want to know exactly how long Chinese water torture takes to make you break, and who wonder how anybody--like the villains here--could be evil enough to try it. By the final curtain, you don't even care what happens to Frank and Suki, as long as they get off that anthill. The same old film noir moves, with tenderness lightening the first half and sadism dragging down the second.