More often than not, a person missing as a result of foul play will be killed if not rescued in the first 48 hours after the abduction. This actuarial statistic is taken as gospel by struggling lawyer Tom Redmond in Green's sloppy third thriller (after The Fifth Angel) when Redmond's Washington Post reporter daughter, Jane, disappears. Before she vanished, Jane was investigating the purported sexual misconduct of powerful Senator Gleason, who years ago destroyed her father's career as a district attorney. Now Tom believes the senator has hired a former CIA assassin to do away with Jane. Enlisting the help of former biker Mike Tubbs, Tom sets off on a 48-hour rampage of criminal trespass, kidnapping, assault, grand theft, burglary, torture and murder, racing up and down the east coast with the duct tape-wrapped senator in tow. Meanwhile, Jane makes her own escape, running half-naked around a Hudson River island, fighting snakes and psychopaths. Just as she thinks all is lost, she meets up with Mark Allen, a handsome mystery man who was one of her key sources on the Gleason story. Mark seems to be on her side-but who is he, really? After the 48 hours elapse, the action extends to the evil plan of a Ukrainian terrorist who talks like Speedy Gonzalez, and Jane's vigilantes commit a few more felonies to save the day. Improbabilities vie for attention with contrivances, and the novel is riddled with careless writing ("Mike began typing again, his stubby fingers running the keys like a prodigy"), silly dialogue (" `This is GD big' ") and irrelevant detail ("Tom paid at the Home Depot with cash"). As things wind down to a predictable ending, Redmond's 48 hours may seem interminable. Agent, Esther Newberg. Major ad/promo. (Feb. 2) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
When his daughter disappears before she can rat on an influential senator, cop-turned-lawyer Tom Redmond packs for Washington. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
An offbeat pair of investigators scrambles to find a kidnapped Washington Post reporter, in that proverbial race against the clock. The title refers to a law-enforcement truism that if a hostage isn't found within 48 hours, there's little chance of finding him or her alive. The hostage here is ambitious young Post journalist Jane Redmond, who smells a Pulitzer in the complicated web of corruption emanating from jaded powerbroker Michael Gleason, a veteran senator. Not coincidentally, it was Preston who ruined the career of Jane's father Tom a generation ago. Tom, in his salad days a renowned prosecutor, now drinks a lot more than he should and scrapes together a living with low-paying clients. His sidekick, both personally and professionally, is investigator Mike Tubbs, who weighs in near the 300-pound mark. (Much of their routine revolves around diners and saloons.) Abducted while jogging in Potomac Park during a rainstorm, Jane is taken to a remote cabin in the woods. The story counterpoints, in quick cuts, her efforts to escape with the far blunter efforts of Tom and Mike to find her. News of his daughter's abduction ironically gives over-the-hill Tom a renewed energy and sense of purpose. With audacity and more than a little sadistic pleasure, Tom and Mike kidnap Gleason and torture him until he puts them on the trail of the kidnappers. While resourceful Jane tries a number of escape strategies, her would-be rescuers cut a reckless swath through Washington's power corridors. Caught in the middle is Jane's Deep Throat, an Armani-suited operator named Mark Allen. Will he do the right thing or cover his own . . . financial interests? Suspense 101 from the prolific Green (The Fifth Angel,Feb. 2003, etc.): slight, swift, and moderately involving. Much of its success with readers will rest on affinity for the woebegone duo of Tom and Mike, who could use more dimension. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM