A Cure for Gravity

Arthur Rosenfeld, Author
Arthur Rosenfeld, Author Forge $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-87455-1
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-8125-6566-9
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In this messy but charming tale of one teenage boy's lucky bank robbery, Arthur Rosenfeld takes us not only cross-country, from South Florida to Port Townsend, Wash., but also across a few spiritual dimensions, such as the one separating life and death. The boy, Umberto Santana, robs a bank in Boca Raton on the day when the bills are unmarked. The bank has brought in this money for Suzanne Emerson, an heiress with a taste for expensive antique automobiles, who wants cash on hand so that she can drive a hard bargain at an upcoming auction. Umberto's dumb luck holds as he gets out of town on his Honda. His cross-country trip is lonely, however, until he meets up with Mercury Gant, who is also fleeing Florida, on his 20-year-old motorcycle. Gant is trying to shake his memories of his ex-lover, Caroline, who was lovely, smart and gruesomely widowed; her husband apparently shot himself and their boy, Xavier. Or did he? That story unfurls in Gant's mind as he makes his way to the last bit of his recent past--his daughter, living with Caroline's mother in Port Townsend. Meanwhile, in Florida, Umberto's robbery has caused some excitement: a U.S. senator in the bank at the time died of an asthma attack brought on by stress, and her husband is out for the perpetrator's blood. Eagle Cooper, the FBI agent investigating the case, quickly falls in love with beautiful Suzanne. When Umberto's father uses cash to buy a Jaguar from Suzanne, Eagle closes in, and a sadder, wiser Umberto performs a charitable act. Rosenfeld throws too many subplots into his zany mix, and the dialogue is often corny, but there's a bravura innocence at the heart of this offbeat novel that eventually wins the reader's affection. (Sept.)
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