Rat's Nest

Charles West, Author Walker & Company $17.95 (188p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5765-4
Britisher West ( Funnelweb ) displays a knack for Australian repartee (the action takes place in Sydney), breathless car chases and heightening suspense. Dishearteningly, he undermines his gifts with a penchant for dispensing gobs of brutality for no reason other than shock value. Bev and Polly, two gay male gangsters, mutilate the breasts of one victim, prostitute Joybelle Jones. The hero, John Tallis, feeling indirectly responsible for the butchery, revives the young girl's spirits by enrolling her in acting lessons. This psychological turnaround takes place within 48 hours--only one of several major breaches of credibility. Of the two other ``bad'' damsels, one winds up shot and the other is blown up by a car bomb. The ``good'' ladies fare no better. Meanwhile Tallis, a rich writer/building demolitionist, is trying to learn why his fiancee was murdered; in doing so he is repeatedly assaulted and has to rough up two burly drag queens who threaten him with scissors. If West can cast aside his homophobia and misogyny, he might well create fast-driving mysteries. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7927-0709-7
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