THE FIRST 48

Tim Green, Author . Warner $24.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-446-53144-3

More often than not, a person missing as a result of foul play will be killed if not rescued in the first 48 hours after the abduction. This actuarial statistic is taken as gospel by struggling lawyer Tom Redmond in Green's sloppy third thriller (after The Fifth Angel ) when Redmond's Washington Post reporter daughter, Jane, disappears. Before she vanished, Jane was investigating the purported sexual misconduct of powerful Senator Gleason, who years ago destroyed her father's career as a district attorney. Now Tom believes the senator has hired a former CIA assassin to do away with Jane. Enlisting the help of former biker Mike Tubbs, Tom sets off on a 48-hour rampage of criminal trespass, kidnapping, assault, grand theft, burglary, torture and murder, racing up and down the east coast with the duct tape–wrapped senator in tow. Meanwhile, Jane makes her own escape, running half-naked around a Hudson River island, fighting snakes and psychopaths. Just as she thinks all is lost, she meets up with Mark Allen, a handsome mystery man who was one of her key sources on the Gleason story. Mark seems to be on her side—but who is he, really? After the 48 hours elapse, the action extends to the evil plan of a Ukrainian terrorist who talks like Speedy Gonzalez, and Jane's vigilantes commit a few more felonies to save the day. Improbabilities vie for attention with contrivances, and the novel is riddled with careless writing ("Mike began typing again, his stubby fingers running the keys like a prodigy"), silly dialogue (" 'This is GD big' ") and irrelevant detail ("Tom paid at the Home Depot with cash"). As things wind down to a predictable ending, Redmond's 48 hours may seem interminable. Agent, Esther Newberg. Major ad/promo. (Feb. 2)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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