The Killer's Game

Jay Bonansinga, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (304p) ISBN 978-0-684-82513-7
Bonansinga (Black Mariah) sets a new record for breakneck pacing in this tongue-in-cheek thriller, which pits the world's best assassins against each other in a $6-million chase down the Mississippi in pursuit of one of their colleagues--a man who put up the prize money himself. Principled, middle-aged Chicago hit man Joe Flood has built a reputation among the professional killing elite and amassed a small fortune by terminating sundry bad people who somehow threatened the American way of life. When his doctor reports that he is dying of leukemia, Joe decides to avoid a lengthy illness by putting out a contract on himself and having it circulated throughout the global murder community. By the time he learns that the doctor made a mistake, it's too late to stop the deadly game that has drawn a swarm of skilled assassins in it not only for the money but also for the prestige of vanquishing the renowned professional they know as ""Slugger."" Bonansinga fashions an energetic cartoon of violence and chaos as killers of every stripe pop up to stalk Joe. There are old mob guys, ex-spies, specialists in poison and martial arts, even a pair of surgically separated, Sicilian Siamese twins. It's all a little silly, and it celebrates murder as a colorful, fun-filled pastime, but it's sure to make those long train and plane rides go by in a flash. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
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