cover image Monocolo


Theodore Taylor. Dutton Books, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55611-165-5

Determined to win enough to open a high-fashion dress shop, Las Vegas dancer Molly Bodden indulges in some dangerous gambling as this effective thriller unfolds. A beautiful native of St. Thomas, Molly dates men who gladly stake her at roulette, just to be seen in her company. But one of them, ugly hitman Yorgi Stathos, had been told by his boss Guido Malavasi to expect unimaginable sex in return. In reality, Guido knows that fair Molly is hardly ``easy,'' and that Yorgi will be shown the door--whereupon Guido's other hitman will move in and ``whack'' Yorgi. Defending herself against the hairy Greek, however, Molly slashes his eye and makes him ``monocolo.'' Yorgi promises, in a update of the lex talionis , to take ``two'' of her eyes for the ``one'' he has lost. But each time he catches up with the elusive Molly, she escapes and makes him even angrier. Taylor ( The Stalker ) manages to inspire fear, but the development of the chase is mechanical in retrospect. Molly, moreover, is neither believably naive, nor entirely likable. (Sept.)