The Black Mariah

Jay Bonansinga, Author Warner Books $5.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-446-36515-4
The Black Mariah is the CB nickname for independent trucker Lucas Hyde's rig, which he rides cross-country with his partner Sophie Cohen, a former San Francisco debutante turned vegetarian intellectual hobo. A black man raised in gangland California, Lucas finds freedom from prejudice and streetlife in the anonymity of the highway. On a routine run, Lucas and Sophie receive a wailing CB call for help from a young man in a Camaro claiming he's been put under a curse requiring that he remain in constant motion. The truck-driving team helps him refuel while he keeps his car going, setting off a chain of queasy events that plummet Lucas and Sophie smack dab in the middle of the same curse. In a fast-paced chase sequence reminiscent of Cannonball Run via The Howling , Lucas, Sophie and a Mexican teenager flee highway cops, the FBI and an embittered octogenarian woman whose childhood betrayal by a young black man has turned her to mix voodoo and racism in creating the flying Dutchman curse. First novelist Bonansinga's unusual tale clearly has something to say about the difficulty of overcoming the effects of racism on the individual and he's chosen an odd, haunting venue for conveying it. Movie rights to New Line. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
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