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    HOT FUDGE by Anthony Bruno

    Forge, Tom Doherty Associates, August 2000

    Loretta Kovacs may be in love with Frank Marvelli, but that doesn't mean she trusts Frank with too-sexy Vivian. When Frank and Vivian are sent to California (from New Jersey) to track down a parole-violator, Loretta decides she'll go along to keep track of Frank and make sure he doesn't get into trouble.

    Boy does Frank get into trouble. The parole-violator has taken up with a partner who hates him, a S&M specialist who dominates both him and the partner, an attack dog, and a ton of heroin. Unfortunately, he quickly sees through Frank and Vivian and decides to eliminate the danger, using a San Francisco S&M dungeon as his murder site.

    Bruno relies on coincidence and long shots to move his story forward. This makes for an amusing and unpredictable story, but can be frustrating for readers who are looking for a more traditional novel. Fundamentally, Bruno's writing is what makes this novel worth recommending. His portfolio of wacky and way-out characters will keep the reader smiling--and rolling his/her eyes in amused disgust.

    Two Stars

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