Image of Queenpin: A Novel


Image of Queenpin: A Novel

Abbott's third fiction offering mines the same dark vein as her other books, but this title doesn't shine as brightly as its predecessors. It's still terrific, with all the Abbott trademarks: messy, Freudian relationships; moral ambivalence; hard-bitten, slangy dialogue; and lust, cruelty and betrayal. The Gloria Denton character owes more than a little to Lilly Dillon from The Grifters. The unnamed narrator tells the sordid story with just the right amount of world-weariness, resignation and moxie. Abbott continues to nail the noir voice with a thrilling female twist.

A nameless sharp cookie hired to keep the books at a nightclub falls into the orbit of Gloria Denton, a mob moll, bag lady and cool customer. Gloria takes her under her wing and shows her all the angles. But her appetite for more of everything -- and a dangerous, worthless man -- could prove her downfall. (Simon and Schuster, Jun., 192 pp., $13.00)

Reviewed by: 
Liz French