Dog Eat Dog

Edward Bunker, Author, William Styron, Introduction by St. Martin's Press $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14314-5
Based on the suspense he generates in his fourth novel, it's easy to see why Bunker, an ex-con, has acquired such diverse admirers as Quentin Tarantino (who cast him as Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs) and William Styron (who contributes an introduction to this novel). This time around, the narrator is Troy Cameron, an upper-class Beverly Hills boy turned hardened criminal, who emerges from stints at reform school and San Quentin to join up with his buddies, Gerald ""Mad Dog"" McCain and Diesel Carson, in a haphazard scheme to steal from pimps, hustlers and other fellow criminals. Their first crime, a robbery in which they shake down a major L.A. drug dealer, goes smoothly, but the heat increases on their second assignment, a revenge crime in which a Mexican prison lord offers them a fortune to kidnap the baby of a former companion who has shown him disrespect. The kidnapping is complicated by Troy's growing discomfort when he discovers that the erratic Mad Dog has murdered his former girlfriend and her child in cold blood. Bunker's plot bears some resemblance to those of his earlier novels (No Beast So Fierce; Animal Factory), but his storytelling is once again first-rate as the botched kidnapping leads to a series of violent confrontations that produce a dark but satisfying ending. What distinguishes Bunker from other crime writers is his ability to convey the compassion dormant within his violent criminals without resorting to excess luridness, sympathy or moralism. Bunker has a top-notch screenplay to his credit (Runaway Train); this powerful tale seems tailor-made for Hollywood success as well. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-312-16818-6
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-84243-269-3
Open Ebook - 371 pages - 978-1-84243-754-4
Ebook - 242 pages - 978-1-4532-3243-9
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