Hell Bent

Ken Gross, Author Tor Books $18.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-312-85304-4
Told with terrific pacing and elan, this tough, gritty, intricate thriller picks up ex-NYPD detective Jack Mann in Ireland, where he and Nora Burns run an orphanage using the $3 million swag stolen from the Mafia three years before. A try by the mob to kidnap Nora's young son goes horribly wrong as the boy and a babysitter are killed and Jack wounded. Bent on revenge, Nora flies to New York to get help from her brother Michael. Jack follows, as do a man and woman from the Irish Gardasp ok? . But Michael, an IRA assassin, has his own ``mission'' and warns Nora off. She persists, begins stalking a Mafia don, and we're caught up in a breathless race against time (Michael plans to wipe out the guests at the East Coast Academy Awards banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria with nerve gas) involving the mob, the NYPD and the IRA. The latter's tendency toward literal fratricide is savagely shown. New York City is etched in acid (a cop speaks of the city's ``criminal disposal system'') and affection (a Garda detective marvels at ``the great, moving carnival'') and humor (asked why he'd go on television, electronically disguised, a mob hit man says, ``Are you kiddin'? Hey, I never been on TV . . . My wife's gonna tape it''). Gross wrote Rough Justice and A Fine Line. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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