God's Gym

Leon de Winter, Author, Jeannette K. Ringold, Translator , trans. from the Dutch by Jeannette K. Ringold. Toby $14.95 (313p) ISBN 978-1-59264-265-6

This second novel from Dutch author and director de Winter (Hoffman's Hunger ) is a slick, entertaining import with the soul of an American thriller-fantasy. In the L.A. winter of 2000, Dutch screenwriter Joop Koopman meets with his childhood friend Philip van Gelder, an agent for Israel's Mossad. Using a lucrative script assignment as bait, Philip recruits Joop for an “undercover job” involving Omar van Lieshout, a suspected Dutch terrorist based in L.A. Meanwhile, Joop's only child, lovely 17-year-old Miriam, suffers severe brain trauma in a motorcycle accident. After Joop consents to have her taken off life support, he finds an unexpected confidante and comforter in the motorcycle driver, Erroll Washington (aka Godzilla), a bulky African-American who runs a karate gym in Venice, Calif. When Joop's distant cousin Linda (a onetime object of Joop's adolescent lust) shows up with a Tibetan monk, things get really strange, involving reincarnation and a secret Swiss bank account. Readers who don't mind swallowing their disbelief should find this imaginative caper propulsive. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/10/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
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