Paradise Junction

Philip Finch, Author, Phillip Finch, Author
Philip Finch, Author, Phillip Finch, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-312-08869-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-95304-1
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Finch's compact, forward-leaning prose packs a powerful punch in this crime thriller connecting some society misfits in California with a few privileged Marin County residents who are driven by such common motives as greed, jealousy and boredom. Hays Teale and Evan Ruark met at Stanford's business school and formed a cosmetics company, which they built into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate within a few years of graduation. But Ruark's interest has seemed to wane and profits have shrunk. Hays's risk-loving wife, Caitlin Hames, persuades him to hire ex-con Sonny Nuall to guide them in robbing wealthy homeowners in the San Francisco suburbs. Deciding to move up the crime ladder, the pair determines to murder Ruark for the insurance money; they hire a former Marine and explosives expert to help. Turns out, though, that Ruark has overseen some seriously shady dealings of his own and, with his henchman Gerald Moon, is a lot more dangerous than anyone suspects. Finch bares the widely disparate social strata inhabited by both his privileged, thrill-seeking, conscienceless yuppie types and the professional criminals who are forced to deal with them. In his authoritative hands, layers of action and motivation propel fully etched characters to a criminal conclusion that seems a lot like justice. (Jan.)
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