A hardcover debut that delivers the punch of early Spillane, the pace of The Fugitive, and the body count of a Schwarzenegger epic with all the credibility of Batman.
Aging assassin Joseph Riley Flood, known as the Slugger, is told that he's going to die of leukemia. Joe, a Catholic, won't commit suicide, and so he has his boss establish an open contract on his life. Whoever blows Joe Flood to kingdom come will receive $6 million, which is being transferred from Joe's Swiss account and held in escrow. Joe also gives an extra million to his girlfriend Maizie, then splits. That night, on his answering machine, however, Joe's doctor tells him that through a lab error his blood sample got mixed with someone else'sand that he will likely live to be a hundred. Joe tries to break the contract, but it's too late. The world's top assassins converge on Chicago to take out the Slugger. Joe flees, at each turn dropping one or more of the hit men on his tail. Bonansinga, meantime, is heavy on the ordnance, the novel sometimes reading like a serial for Soldier of Fortune. Even Joe's girlfriend Maizie, a specialist in theater makeup and disguise, turns out to have a background in ballistics (and an unsuspected, close relationship with the mob). She tracks Joe down to tell him that she's three months pregnant and that she's not leaving him. Soon, there are only four assassins left, and the CIA says that it'll give JOe and Maizie new identities if he rids the planet of these pro killers. But who can trust the CIA? Joe has to create a spectacular theatrical finale that proves he's dead if he and Maizie are to get out alive.
Unbelievable, over-the-top mayhem, rendered in a faux tough- guy prose.