Richard Bausch is the author of nine other novels and seven volumes of short stories. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Playboy, GQ, Harper's Magazine, and other publications, and has been featured in numerous best-of collections, including the O. Henry Awards' Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South. In 2004 he won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.
Bausch (Good Evening, Mr. and Mrs. America, LJ 8/96) is a widely admired writer of considerable talent. But he's off his mark in this tale of a family nearing bankruptcy, the death of the husband in an accident, and the terror visited upon his survivors when his "associates" come for the stolen smuggled goods he's hidden, reneging on his part of the deal. The plot is canned; the action, especially how two of the villains manage to do each other in, often strains credibility; and the characters seem to have wandered in variously from McCrumb, Pelecanos, and even Grisham novels. All that said, the writing itself is good, and the book is decidedly a page turner; in spite of (and perhaps even because of) its flaws, it's hard to put down. Surely not essential, but buy if the budget allows for Bausch fans and Grishamites.‘Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, NY
"A white knuekle ride, a thriller that sets its book on page one".
-- Richmond Times -- Dispatch