The Devil's Redhead
An ex-con risks his freedom and his life to rekindle an old love affairThey call him Bad Dan, the Man Who Can. A talented photographer who makes his living smuggling premium Thai marijuana into the States, he meets Shel at a Las Vegas blackjack table, and falls instantly in love. After two years of whirlwind passion, they are living in California and plotting a final score. But in his haste to escape the con life, Dan makes a fatal mistake. The score goes sour, and Dan agrees to a ten-year stint to buy a light sentence for the woman he loves. When he emerges from jail, Dan’s freewheeling spirit is gone. His parole bars him from consorting with known felons, but no power on earth can keep him away from Shel. Attempting to reconnect with her draws them both back into the smuggling game, where the only things hotter than their passion are the tempers of the men who want them dead.
Corbett thunders out of the gate with this gritty, moving debut about an ex-con's readjustment to freedom and his efforts to reunite with a former lover. Ten years after being sentenced for drug dealing, Dan Abatangelo emerges from prison with one thought in mind: finding Shel Beaudry and rekindling their relationship. Abatangelo is a changed man harder, less patient, prone to bursts of violence. Despite the advice of friends, who warn him that no good can come from reuniting with Shel, he pushes forward. He eventually finds her living north of San Francisco, beholden to a drug-addled, mentally unstable man named Frank Maas and the crime ring that employs him. When Shel and Abatangelo finally meet, she waffles on returning to him, but before he can convince her, a local drug war breaks out and Shel is taken hostage. Abatangelo responds with a daring rescue mission that takes him deep into his former world and ignites a gruesome chain of violence and death. Corbett, a San Francisco private investigator for more than a decade, brings a wealth of real-world detail to his swift, highly atmospheric narrative. His plotting could sometimes use a little more glue, and a few characters particularly newspaperman Bert Waxman border on caricature. But Corbett's prose dazzles, cutting across the page with passionate force, articulating themes of devotion, lost hope and spiritual renewal in an unforgiving world. Author appearances in the Bay Area.