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In sun-baked Phoenix, Arizona, this never-predictable tale tosses into its antic mix a dead father, his two sons--one a small-time ex-con with a consistent genius for sabotaging his own best interests, the other a straight, uptight solid citizen with a moneymaking chain of dry-cleaning stores and a restive ex-stewardess of a wife named Evelyn.

Recently released from prison for possession of a truckload of black-market saguaro cacti - and in deep debt to an unforgiving crank dealer, Jimmy Coates returns home only to discover that his brother has cut him out of his inheritance. A not-unjustifiable desire to settle old scores and new sends Jimmy on a robbery spree that wipes out four of his brother's dry-cleaning establishments. But when he finds himself tumbling for a mutinously sexy Evelyn, the impulse to vengeance reverses itself.

Unwittingly, however, Jimmy has already set in motion a series of dangerous consequences - adultery, blackmail, love, betrayal - that culminate in a blueprint for murder. And it could be Jimmy himself who is taking the long fall.

More books from this author: Lynn Kostoff