cover image Nightkill


F. Paul Wilson, Steve Lyon. Forge, $23.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85910-7

Set in gritty, superficially glittery Atlantic City and New York City, this refreshingly offbeat, fast-paced medical thriller by Wilson (Implant) and Lyon features a sympathetic hit man as the recipient of a fiendishly clever new surgical technique. Jack Nacht, ace sniper for a Jersey Mafioso, is hired to kill a U.S. senator who has lost all respect for his mob ties. The hit turns out to be a trap, however, as Jake is shot by an NYPD detective just as Jake targets the senator. As Jake lies paralyzed, his spine shattered, he realizes that he's been set up by Fredo Papillardi, vicious capo and nephew to the Don. Angel Deschanel, Jake's beautiful nurse, tries to get Jake to commit to rehab therapy while Jake tries to get her to fall in love with him, hoping she'll help him commit suicide. Angel's surgeon uncle performs a risky, daring operation, however, and Jake is unexpectedly on the way to a full recovery. Fredo schemes to kill Jake, who then plans major payback, and the book takes off like a rocket. Some melodramatic and improbable plot turns may leave readers hungry for more characterization, motivation and the sly humor that pops up now and again. But the slam-bang action is addictive, and the book is sure-fire entertainment.(Oct.)