St. Martin's, 2000 (1999)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
llie Kerry is not the usual sort of heroine. First of all she's a criminal and most comfortable on the seedy side of town. Of course, it's in the genes. Her Vietnam veteran father was a Florida drug runner and Alison worked with him since she was small. Recovered from a cocaine addiction and the risky relationship that precipitated it, Allie works as a runner, delivering items for a fee with no questions asked about their content -
fter her dad's best friend Cyrus tells her of his death, Allie is on her way to Key West for the funeral, when she takes on a last minute job. This latest assignment blows up in her face; the government agent who slips a disk into her back pocket is shot and she barely escapes. A cross country flight follows, with more deaths and Allie on the run from both the authorities and a professional killer.
everal close calls later, Allie begins to wonder who is betraying her and her suspicions move closer and closer to people she has loved. At the same time she finds connections to wartime atrocities in Vietnam and to someone who wants to keep a secret at any cost. She is a fugitive from justice, but is determined to find out the truth and to get revenge. This is a tough, hard-boiled heroine who takes her knocks and keeps on going.
iler intersperses the fast action with Allie's reminiscences of past experiences and lyrical descriptions of her surroundings. It is this shared perspective with Kerry and the reader's insight into her eye for the detail and beauty of her surroundings that make her such a sympathetic character, despite her unappealing background.
is an impressive and unusual first novel.
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