Devils Hole

Bill Branon, Author
Bill Branon, Author HarperCollins Publishers $23 (360p) ISBN 978-0-06-017760-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-109251-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51550-9
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Improbable coincidences, unwieldy prose, and an excess of psychoanalysis torpedo this effort from the author of Let Us Prey. Set mainly around contemporary Las Vegas, this unconvincing thriller centers on professional assassin Arthur Arthur, a psychologically tortured sharpshooter who takes contracts only on individuals with a history of evildoing. The current target, Michael Patrick Henry, is beating local casinos out of big money by somehow anticipating movement in the point spreads of football games. The casino owners want Michael dead and hire Arthur and his partner, Montana, for the job. Arthur is willing because Michael has a reported history of selling drugs to children. But things heat up when Montana falls for Karla, who is best friends with Michael's new girlfriend, Melody. Arthur then meets and falls in love with Melody and thus unknowingly shares a woman with the man he must murder. The novel's many smaller coincidences are equally incredible. Branon invokes Arthur's dreams and earlier traumas in a heavy-handed, Jungian explanation of his character. Despite convincing treatment of firearms and the mechanics of murder, awkward prose frequently disrupts the narrative. $75,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate; author tour. (May)
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