ACCUSTOMED TO THE DARK by Walter Satterthwait


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 Bang bang--and Joshua Croft's partner Rita Mondrag¢n hovers near death in a Santa Fe hospital. The shooter is obviously Ernie Martinez, who escaped from the state pen the night before, six years after Joshua sent him up (and after he shot and nearly killed Rita for the first time). Hector Ramirez and the local cops have set up a hundred roadblocks; the state police have launched a manhunt; and the FBI and DEA, it turns out, are in on the party, too. So naturally Joshua (The Hanged Man, 1993, etc.) goes after Martinez himself, knowing from the first what a crazy idea this is. But, hey, when a man's partner is shot, he's supposed to do something about it, even if that means burning rubber from Santa Fe to Las Vegas to Denver to Kansas and Texas, sorting out the corpses Martinez and Luiz Lucero, his psycho cellmate, have left in their wake. After a dramatic development that pulls the lawmen off the chase and sends them all home, Joshua's left practically on his own in the Everglade swamps, worrying about getting eaten by alligators and hassled by poaching patrols--but not about what's going to happen when he catches up with Martinez and Lucero. Long before this, though, his story's been afflicted by a bad case of the flashbacks that explain, in case you weren't willing to take it on faith, just why he was so bothered when Rita got shot. B-plus for Joshua's present-day vendetta, C-minus for his interminable rehashings of the way we were.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14535-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996


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