COUNT ME OUT by Russell James


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 When the gunpowder has cleared from over Deptford mastermind Gottfleisch's meticulously planned security van robbery, Scott Heywood, the accomplice who was supposed to be killed, has popped loose with the boodle. The size of the haul--ú2 million--makes it worth some trouble for Gottfleisch and his mates to join forces with Ray Lyons, the brother of the robber Scott left dead in his place, to find Scott. But Scott's sitting pretty--at least, neither Gottfleisch nor the police, nor his own outraged wife, has been able to find any trace of him or the cash--which is more than can be said for Scott's brother Jet Heywood, a broken-down boxer whose marginal life with his little girl Stella is about to get even more marginal. Before the bloodstained curtain rings down, concussed Jet and savvy Stella, sharing a poky trailer in a traveling fair, will be pursued by Ray Lyons (who wants a brother for a brother), Gottfleisch's bagman Ticky (a toothless pederast who wants both the boodle and a nice time), Jet's treacherous ex- wife Angela (who's heard about Scott on the telly and thinks the time might be ripe for a reconciliation), dozens of outraged citizens (angry at the outcome of one of the fair's amateur boxing matches), and the majesty of the North Devon Social Services (who just want what's best for the little girl). Conscientiously menacing (if overextended) stuff, though not a patch on the breathtakingly nasty Payback (1993) and Slaughter Music (1995).

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-88150-384-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1997


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