Kenneth Abel, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (345p) ISBN 978-0-385-31190-8
Abel's brisk, sparely written thriller reads more like an accomplished 10th novel than a debut. Jack Walsh, a cop who has been hitting the bottle since his partner died in an aborted drug bust, wakes up in a Boston hospital after an automobile accident to learn that the other car's driver--the only son of local crime boss Johnny D'Angelo--is dead, which means Walsh is as good as dead himself. After resigning from the force and serving time in a state medical facility, Walsh holes up in his hometown, Athol, Mass., to wait for the Mafia hit he knows is coming. Unknown to Walsh, the DA's office has him under surveillance; they're using him for bait, hoping to get evidence against D'Angelo when the mobster comes gunning for him. So begins a cat-and-mouse game that involves Walsh's family and neighbors, D'Angelo's future son-in-law and the DA's office. Walsh has very little chance of surviving unless he can get someone to listen to his suspicions about a crooked cop who might be responsible for the death of his partner. Abel skillfully makes several potentially cliched characters quite believable, and delivers his complicated plot with the simplicity of screenplay stage directions. Unlike many first novels, this one is delightfully free of authorial excess. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/1994
Release date: 02/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 363 pages - 978-0-8161-7436-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21720-6
Hardcover - 978-1-85797-781-3
Show other formats
Discover what to read next