Demandingly overwritten noir novel in deep black with hangover dialogue screwed so tight it hurts. Some scenes tattoo themselves on the brain. Soracco (Low Bite, 1989) follows the adventures of Reno as she leaves prison on parole and goes into some nameless ``Edge City'' where life is ever on the edge of cashing her in for more jail-time or maybe just for good. As black-tongued Reno thinks, ``I'm fucked coming and going.'' Or, as Soracco describes Reno's mind-state while still in the slammer: ``Still caught by the slow limping dream of prison, alone with nothing but spiders as company for too long, Reno listened to the dried souls rattle in her mind, her ritual gourd--like a miser she counted memories for protection--not nearly enough to fill her need: bend them weave them wake them shake them; over and behind the rattle she heard the judicial voices murmuring, always the same: `She shows no remorse,' `Lock her up.' `Of course, of course.' '' Enjoyment of this novel depends on how much of such writing you can take. The main characters are blacks; at least they talk in Black English. The ever-sullen Reno winds up waitressing at Club Istanbul, which features belly-dancers and a real Arab band. Drugs float everywhere, and the club's second floor is rented by Mr. Huntington, a necrophiliac writer who murders young girls and then does worse to them. This hotbed of sex, dope, and blackmail isn't the best place for a parolee to work, while Reno's room at the Royal Hotel is a lot less friendly than her old cell. The plot moves through a sludge of chopped-off dialogue to a sizzling climax with Reno stuffing hot red-pepper seeds into Huntington's ear--which has its desired effect both on him and the reader. A ba-ad old Ace or Pyramid paperback original dolled up in hardcovers but, still, mean, ugly, and sulking.