After retaliating against a drug lord, savvy, street-tough Val Duran flees to Hollywood. Meanwhile, an L.A. playboy beds a gorgeous redhead and wakes up with a psychopath trying to kill him. Neither Val nor Kilo know it yet, but they are on a collision course with a sexy marine biologist and one lethally dysfunctional family in this "dark, comic tour de force" (James Ellroy).
"Val Duran, his undercover narco days behind him, is running from Junior, the only white-trash drug kingpin left in Miami. But what Val finds in Los Angeles proves every bit as lethal as Junior. First there's Kyle, a marine biologist whom Val falls hard for, and then there's her drunken stepbrother and his seriously bent girlfriend, who are plotting to murder Kyle's mother. Val lands in the middle of it all, with matters complicated by the arrival of Junior, who hopes to find time to meet Vanna White after he kills Val. This is one of those noir thrillers, like the film Body Heat, where you know the plot is going to turn you in circles, but the end result is never in doubt: the hero has it bad, and it's going to get worse. Ferrigno, author of The Horse Latitudes (1990), capably steers his plot around the corners and injects plenty of Hiaasen-type humor along the way. The ending, evoking The Maltese Falcon, hits just the right minor chord. --Bill Ott"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"As if invigorated by his move to a new publisher, Ferrigno (The House of Latitudes) has produced his best novel in years, a splendidly readable, cinematic thriller setÄas is his wontÄin Southern California and populated by mean drug dealers, beautiful surfers, "trust fund babies," "thugs on commission" and murderers for hire. Ferrigno's reluctant hero is Val Duran, an ex-cop: he's first seen in Miami, where Junior, a vengeful narcotraficante, has Val's oldest friend blown away before Val's eyes. Val flees to L.A., where he finds work as a technical adviser to "ultra-low budget action movies." Soon Val also finds Kyle Abbott, "smart and sinewy, a take-no-prisoners surfer" from a rich Laguna Beach family. Her arm brushes his, and it's love. Kyle's half-brother, Kilo, conspires with lawless, sadistic Jackie Hendricks and her Gulf War veteran sidekick, Dekker, to kill Kilo's stepmother, Kyle's mother. The ensuing Abbott family intrigue, and Junior's vendetta against Val, set up a landslide of betrayals, hard decisions, secret pacts and violent stratagems. Will Val's passion for Kyle expose her to Junior's wrath? Has Kilo fallen in love with Jackie? Will the dealers bring in the feds? Ferrigno introduces, and updates expertly, all the properties of SoCal noir: film, boats, drug runners, terminal illness, financial chicanery and underwater danger. The array of subplots and mixed motives should entice fans of Elmore Leonard and Ross Thomas. Ferrigno's complex edifice of wrongdoing rises to an ending that feels just right, and shows how far some racy characters will go in search of moneyÄand for love. Agent, Mary Evans. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved