cover image Shafted


Mandasue Heller. Hodder & Stoughton, $23.95 (391pp) ISBN 978-0-340-89951-9

In Heller’s wonderfully wicked revenge thriller, British TV host Larry Logan loses his job after he performs drunk on a children’s charity telethon and, in an even dumber move, has a boozy fling with a 16-year-old female fan . Two years later, a desperate Larry agrees to host fake game show Gotcha! for American TV that’s actually a police sting operation to catch real British felons, including notorious bail jumper Derek “Dex” Lewis. Manchester Insp. Bill Keeton persuades Larry to schmooze the slippery crook to lure him to the fake set. After the cops bust him, Dex vows vengeance, as does his teen daughter Molly, mom Nora, brother Patrick and ex-wife, Jane. Meanwhile, Dex’s disgruntled girlfriend concocts a scheme to score secret payback. Suspense intersects brilliantly with savage pop culture satire as Heller (The Club ) reveals just how twisted life can be when it connects with crimes of the head and heart. (Nov.)