A super-charged story full of bad guys, a lot badder guys (among them rogue Feds, Russian and Albanian mobsters and locally-grown mafiosi) and a not-that-bad bad guy you can come to love and root for. Jerry Lang, by name.
Lang, a thief practically from when he was a toddler, usually steals on demand. That is, he gets an assignment from a fence, mentor, whatever, to rip off a bit of property that someone else covets.
This time it's a valuable piece of art, and he and his "leading lady" - Gloria, a very lovely, erotic head-turner whose role is to distract any man who might get in Jerry's way - head off to work.
But things go wrong and Gloria vanishes and most certainly has ended up buried in the Bronx or some other godawful place and Jerry himself almost gets the final push to Hell but ends up in jail for a couple of years. (I'm really not giving much away: Gloria is disposed of in the first few pages.) From this point on Jerry lives with one major motivation.
Revenge drives the tale, and it's like watching a Nascar event. Fast, dangerous, sexy.
And this is a pretty sexy book. Chapter One introduces us to Jerry's leading lady with a warm, tender and glowing post-coital description of her body, her near-perfect bone structure and just how Jerry feels about her: He truly loves her. It's afternoon, with the theft of the artwork planned for that night, and they've made love mostly because if the caper turns bad he wants his last memories to be of Gloria's essence.
The cast of characters include a sly and crafty mafia boss surrounded by mostly loyal but dim goons and a coked-up lieutenant impatient to step up and depose the boss so he can sit at a table in an Italian restaurant with the other Dons in $4,000 silk suits. The scariest villain and Jerry’s most formidable foe is the corrupt and mega nouveau-riche Russian oligarch who has the goods on some important American politicos and can therefore command and receive protection and favors from secret U.S. Army operatives working under the auspices of a shadow government agency.
But the story is really about the Leading Lady, beginning with Gloria and ending with her replacement, Letitia Hastings: actress/lap dancer/actress but, finally, Jerry’s true Leading Lady.
Murders, double-crosses and more, straight to an explosive and chilling ending.