Nowhere to Hide

James Elliott, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (336p) ISBN 978-0-684-82362-1
It's not just the heroine-in-flight of Elliott's deeply absorbing new thriller (after Cold, Cold Heart) who has nowhere to hide. Jack Kirby, the NYPD cop assigned to shield luscious call girl Nicole Bass from mob vengeance, finds himself boxed in by his conflicting loyalties to her and to the Job; and Vincent Genero, the crime boss hunting Bass, winds up trapped by his own pride and rage. Elliott again proves adept at driving complex characters into desperate situations, starting with the witnessing by Bass of Genero's brutal murder of his accountant (her client), who's stolen $18 million from the don. Bass escapes the killing ground with a copy of the victim's secret bank accounts. She tries to work a deal with Genero--the money for her life--but Genero's not interested. So she turns to Kirby for protection. Cop and call girl fall in love, but when Genero calls in an assassin to kill Bass, she runs. The introduction of the hit man creates the novel's only serious weakness, as he's a gray figure who deflects attention from the mesmerizingly villainous Genero (modeled on John Gotti) and who pushes the plot away from the city into an arbitrary Caribbean interlude. Otherwise, the narrative grips with its gritty atmospherics on both sides of the law and its edgy, bruised, mistrustful characters. Elliott's prose glides over the page; his pacing is as expert as his handling of the big action scenes. This exciting crime melodrama offers thrills and romance, and both are resonant with a sense of lives lived hard and on the edge. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selections; film rights optioned by Quentin Tarantino. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/02/1997
Release date: 06/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
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