Ballantine, August 2003, 24.95, 304 pp.
Mackie learned what a louse her husband was after she discovered he was cheating on her and divorced her. The housing development they were creating went into foreclosure and the bank took possession of it leaving her and her daughter Lianne barely able to afford the payments on the model house. When she gets a notice from the IRS saying she owes over $100,000, she finds out Kevin did some financial maneuvering that make her liable for the bill.
Her friend gives her the idea of stripping as a way of getting back on her feet financially and the Tucson resident travels to the border town of Aqua Fria where she gets hired on as an exotic dancer at Buckaroo's. The owner of the club Buck Samsanov also owns the local bank. He has a scheme where one of his workers robs the place and he gets the money back plus the insurance. Through a quirky set of circumstances, Mackie winds up with the money, Lianne's boyfriend is dead, and Kevin is kidnapped. A crime writer looking for inspiration winds up in the middle of the whole mess and manages to make matters worse.
This suspense thriller is a memorable reading experience due to the cast of characters who are unique and believable. Peter Abrahams has a colorful writing style and his prose is a work of art even with plenty of farcical humor that lowers the tension level when the reader needs a bit of relief from the almost non-stop action. Once again, Mr. Abrahams proves he is one of the grandmasters of suspense.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner