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Dangerous Waters

Ah, the great American Revenge Fantasy. Bill Eidson’s Dangerous Waters concerns Riley Burke, an advertising executive who gets pushed too far and becomes a killing machine. It seems that a pair of psychopathic coke dealers think, erroneously, that Burke has something that belongs to them. The dealers wreak havoc on Burke’s life, at one point kidnapping his sexy wife and threatening to carve her up if he doesn’t come across with the goods. All this is pat, not to mention distasteful. When Eidson starts thinking for himself, though, his story comes to life. There are some inventive, well-choreographed combat scenes aboard Burke’s yacht in Newport, R.I. There’s an excellent chase sequence during which the participants talk to each other on their car phones. And, when the author is not fixating on the body count, he manages skillful characterizations of his wheelers and dealers. In Eidson’s world, there is only one rule of thumb: Everybody who appears innocent is guilty and everybody who appears guilty is guilty too. B

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