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    Review of A.K.A. SHEILA DOYLE by Pat Jordan


    Carroll & Graf, 2002

    While celebrating her divorce, Sheila Doyle falls for Bobby Roberts, a male stripper who changes her life. With his instructions, she transforms herself from an 40-something ex-actress into a hard-bodied, sexy, blonde player. Together Sheila, Bobby, and minor Jewish gangster Sol Billstein smuggle money, run guns, and look for the illegal angle to make a few bucks. With the added intelligence that Sheila brings to the group, their potential appears unlimited.

    Things turn rough when the Bobby and Sheila anger a Cuban exile. What had been a game becomes a death-defying struggle for survival.

    Author Pat Jordan's smooth prose convincingly portrays the biggoted and appearance-dominated world of the underworld in Florida. Sheila's transformation, and her gradual ascendency toward dominance in the three-person team, is both interesting and unexpected.

    Although many readers will be offended by the language that Jordan puts into his characters dialogue (slurs of racial and sexual orientation), to me this usage feels authentic rather than forced. A few editing glitches distract somewhat, and Sol's drug subplot toward the end of the novel adds little to the theme and detracts from the immediacy of the message.

    Recommended for fans of 'caper' fiction.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 9/30/02

    Purchase A.K.A. SHEILA DOYLE from (hardback).

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