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Crescent Blues Book ViewsOnyx (Paperback), ISBN 0-451-41114-5

Sometimes a woman finds herself in an unsatisfactory marriage and doesn't know exactly what to do with her life. Even worse, suppose her family includes six small children, and she feels trapped with the responsibility. Ellen Mosley found herself in just such a situation. Her solution to this dilemma involved leaving her husband and six children, teaming up with an embezzler who absconded with five hundred thousand dollars, changing her name and heading for Montana to seek a new life.

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Now suppose that woman realizes too late that the embezzled money belonged to an organized crime syndicate which will track her and her lover for the rest of their lives until the syndicate recovers the money. Ellen Mosley found herself in just such a situation. Her solution to that dilemma involved murdering her partner, taking the money, returning it to the syndicate and cutting a deal with the mob.

Sometimes a woman finds herself enmeshed in another unsatisfactory and deadly situation and realizes too late that a woman who cuts and runs may end up in more trouble than she can handle. Ellen Mosley found herself in just such a situation -- only this time there appears to be no room left to cut and run.

Thirty years after she left, her youngest son Whit, now Judge Mosley of Port Leo, Texas, embarks on a mission to find his mother and bring her home to confront her children and apologize to his dying father. With the help of a private detective and his old friend Gooch, he finds to his astonishment that Ellen now lives in nearby Houston under an assumed name as a member of the notorious Bellini crime family. He doesn't realize, however, that she now finds herself caught in the middle of a power struggle between two crime families and framed for stealing five million dollars of drug money. A contract on her life sends her into hiding from forces she knows will eventually find and kill her.

When he arrives in Houston for the surprise reunion with his mother, Whit inadvertently steps into the middle of the fray. With one associate murdered, a close friend threatened and himself under fire from the assassins, Whit must act with skill and dexterity to extricate himself and his mother from the desperate affair even if it means skirting the laws he has sworn to uphold.

That Jeff Abbot is a fine writer there can be no doubt. Nominated for the Agatha and Macavity awards, he crafts fast paced and suspenseful stories complete with unique characters and clever plot twists. Cut and Run, the third in the series featuring Judge Whit Mosley, continues that tradition with typical nerve rattling action and provides a first rate reading experience.

Clint Hunter

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