A runaway wife is pursued by half a dozen men whose violently conflicting agendas will put them in just as much danger as she is.
Terrified that she’s going to act on the insistent voice in her head (“Kill him!”), Sara Labriola leaves her Montauk home for the Big Apple, where sweet bar-owner Abe Morgenstern coaxes her into a singing gig that’s bound to be better for her career than for her health. Her husband Tony is dazed by her departure, but his father, small-time mob boss Leo Labriola, more mad than hurt, tells Vinnie Caruso, his bagman, to find her. Vinnie farms the job out to Mortimer Dodge because Morty’s $15,000 debt to Vinnie guarantees a bargain rate for the job. But since Morty’s mysterious partner Stark, the man who does the looking, won’t work for mobsters, Morty’s got to lie to him from the beginning, hiding both his client and his partner from each other. The explosive situation only gets worse when Tony realizes that his hated father has hired somebody to find Sara and leans on an old friend to head off the murderous complications bound to follow. Tony’s right about the complications, but wrong about the way they’ll play out, though a lot of readers will be way ahead of him.
A fluent, suspenseful, synthetic yarn, this time without the staying power of Cook’s more characteristic descents into the dark past (The Interrogation, 2002, etc.).