Give + Take

Stona Fitch, Author
Stona Fitch, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $22.99 (244p) ISBN 978-0-312-59987-4
Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010

In Fitch's wickedly enjoyable latest, Ross Clifton is a traveling jazz pianist who moonlights as a thief, stealing diamonds from the wealthy women he seduces after his gigs. Clifton's well-ordered life begins to unravel when he is asked to spend some time looking after his counterfeiter brother's troublesome 16-year-old son, Cray, whose attitude quickly gets under the laconic piano man's skin. Cray soon catches his felonious uncle in the act and ups the ante—with potentially disastrous consequences—when Clifton goes to visit his dying estranged father. Complicating this situation is Clifton's attraction to Marianne London, a beautiful singer with her own shady sideline. The two performers partner up (both on- and offstage) and talk about going straight until Marianne's past comes back to threaten them. Fitch (Senseless ) hits notes suspenseful, romantic, and hilarious, and successfully bundles elements of noir, road novels, and family dramas into one consistently entertaining package. (May)

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