There is a price to pay for redemption. Grabbing the reader with the opening line of Step to the Graveyard Easy, Bill Pronzini shows again why he is considered one of America's leading masters of suspense. As he did in Blue Lonesome, In an Evil Time, and A Wasteland of Strangers, Pronzini delves into character and motivation without missing a beat of the action as he portrays men and women caught up in events not of their own making. There's no time to worry about their fears: they deal with the threats they face in the manner of real people, not pawns of a plotline. As many have been before him, Matthew Cape is confronted by the need to make a change, to go where he's never been, to do things he's never dared. That means giving up everything he has, starting fresh no matter the cost and no matter who might get hurt. The Corvette is manageable, skydiving is fun, and gambling, well, that has always been a passion. Dealing with grifters like Boone and Tanya Judson, however, is something new, and when they try to cheat Cape in a crooked poker game in San Francisco, he begins to learn lessons that aren't part of his plan. From the City by the Bay to Lake Tahoe, a trail of deceit finally leads Cape to the peace he seeks, the freedom he wants, and the redemption he needs. From Publishers Weekly This slim novel from a veteran of noir thrillers, including the Nameless Detective series, is as slick and plot driven as they come. Matt Cape is 35 and stuck in a rut: when his wife catches him in bed with another woman, he quits his job and takes to the road, leaving his old life (or lack thereof) behind. He heads south, then west, eventually landing in San Francisco, where he is fleeced in a card game by Boone Judson and his sidekick, Tanya. Cape gets his and the other players' money back, along with some mysterious photographs. He returns the money to its owners and follows the cardsharps to Lake Tahoe, where he also tracks down the people in the photos and warns them that they may be in danger. When a high-stakes poker game ends in carnage, Cape is sure that Boone and Tanya were involved, but now there's someone else in the picture, someone even more dangerous than the grifters. The police think Cape knows more than he lets on, making his search for the murderer that much more urgent. Pronzini (Nothing but the Night; Blue Lonesome) efficiently pulls readers into Cape's world, but other characters get little fine shading. The author compensates with lean, tart dialogue and snappy pacing as Cape doggedly tries to right the world's wrongs, like a jaded Robin Hood. Though he's an ordinary man caught up in events beyond his control, he is also fearless before death and, through him, readers can act out the pulp fantasy of a good guy beating the odds. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal Pronzini, author of the qNameless Detectiveq series, grabs readers on the first page of this work and hurtles them through a series of twists and turns, culminating in a surprise ending. A quiet salesman, Matthew Cape leads a dull, predictable life, but his midlife crisis prompts radical change: he leaves his wife, quits his job, and severs all ties to his past. Out to create a violently new life for himself, he buys a Corvette, tries skydiving, and takes to the road cross-country. While gambling in San Francisco, he meets up with Boone and Tanya Judson, who start him on a trail that leads to deceit and murder. Drawing on skills he didn't know he had, he evades both police and criminals, until he finally finds the redemption he seeks. Using sharp, staccato sentences, Pronzini accomplishes more in 180 pages than many authors do in two or three times the space. The suspense is pitched so high that one finds oneself turning the pages faster and faster. Highly recommended for all libraries. Fred Gervat, Concordia Coll., Bronxville, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
|Title||:||Step to the Graveyard Easy|