Smoke Dugan is on the run.
A bomb-maker by profession, he dropped out of sight because of a misunderstanding with his employers about an airplane crash and $2.5 million in cash. Unfortunately, they've found out where Smoke's living--a picturesque seaside city in Maine. And Denny Cruz, a highly paid assassin, is on his way from New York to collect him.
Smoke's girlfriend, Lola Bell, is unaware of his past. Sexy, smart, and tough, Lola's a weed that grew up through the cracks in an inner-city housing project. Her big eyes belie her secret weapon: she's spent a decade studying the martial arts. The tattoo on her shoulder reads "Girls Kick Ass." When Cruz decides to use Lola to get to Smoke, he has no idea what he's taking on.
A time bomb is ticking as Smoke, Lola, Cruz, and anyone unlucky enough to come into their orbit are caught up in a drama of abduction, car chases, and triple bluff, where escape or violent death look like the only options. But nothing turns out quite as anyone might expect . . .
Patrick Quinlan's fast-paced, edgy, and brilliantly original first novel introduces a cast of characters worthy of Tarantino in their sophistication and resourcefulness, in a stylish thriller that marks the debut of a stunning new talent.
From Publishers Weekly:
"James "Smoke" Dugan, a natural-born bomb maker, plays an unwitting role in a heinous tragedy when his talents are exploited by a New York mob boss; nobody's fool, Smoke double-crosses the mob in a final, lucrative play and then goes into hiding in Portland, Maine. In pursuit, world-weary hit man Denny Cruz begins to see in Smoke a role model for escaping from New York and from crime—unless, of course, Denny and his disparate crew succeed in killing him. Graphic action and exhilarating chases ensue as Quinlan's characters play cat-and-mouse through Portland, giving a memorable look at the city's patchwork culture of industrial shipping, tourism, yuppies and foreign refugees. Denny and Smoke share an unlikely, endearing sensitivity and intelligence, and Smoke's girlfriend, Lola, is a fierce delight. This is Maine resident Quinlan's debut, and it makes one hope that Smoke hasn't quit the life entirely."
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