MONOCOLO by Theodore Taylor

MONOCOLO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Vegas showgirl flees the Mafia hit-man whose eye she put out: a second crudely exciting revenge-melodrama from the author of The Stalker (1987). The elements here are ancient: the damsel in distress (topless dancer/would-be couturier Molly Bodden); the dashing knight (pro-football star Epp Watts); the dragon (Chicago mob hit-man Yorgi Greco). Taylor gives them a modern spin, though, by allowing foxy Molly to outwit macho Yorgi at every tense turn, beginning with their bloody blind date in Vegas in early 1979. Then, a lusting Yorgi threatens to rape Molly, who, defending herself, slashes the hit-man across the face and an eye, which he loses. The next night, as Yorgi mends in a hospital, Molly meets the vacationing Epp; romance blooms, but so does danger as Yorgi, released, kidnaps Molly, planning to scrape her eyes out--only to have her grab his gun and leave him stranded in the desert. Terrified, Molly flees with now-lover Epp to Atlantic City; but an enraged Yorgi shakes Molly's address out of her former landlady, then races east to that pre-casino town. There, Yorgi tracks down his prey, crippling Epp with a bullet to the knee and chasing Molly into a construction project--where he's felled by a worker. A subsequent trial, hinging on Molly's testimony, lands Yorgi a long prison term; ten years later, though, he's set free--and comes chasing after Molly, now a successful designer back in her native Virgin Islands. But Epp, his football career smashed by the kneecapping, is there--too and races to Molly's rescue in a climax that's as predictable as it is violent. Generic psychological-terror fare--no-frills but swift and tough enough to provide the requisite thrills.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1989
Publisher: Donald Fine