After a long bout with alcohol and hard drugs, Jack Palms’ life has settled into routine, healthy food and hours at the gym, the chaos of the past behind him. Unfortunately, his career is a thing of the past as well. An action movie hero, the sequel to Jack’s hit never came together, though he is still a recognizable celebrity.
Although Sausalito is far from the scene of his former Hollywood glory days, Jack lives in a fancy house with a view, the bank leaving daily messages that the mortgage is past due - and the residual checks are getting smaller. When an old pal from Jack’s infamous past asks Jack to help out with a quick deal, the former star is desperate enough to agree to a meeting.
The job should be short and sweet: hook up some visiting Eastern Europeans with a drug connection, show them the San Francisco night life, and collect the money. Jack is to provide the flash, the shine of stardom, and the hot ’66 fastback Mustang GT from his film. The Eastern Europeans, Czechs, are high-rollers ready to rock, but when Jack’s old pal, Ralph, ends up face-down and bullet-riddled in his Jacuzzi, things quickly go south.
Ignoring the impulse to just walk away, Jack decides to make the connection himself. The result is mayhem with a twist. Harwood makes even this unbelievable landscape seem possible, a wild romp through the club scene and drug dens where the action never stops and the bullets fly. That is the author’s hook- the utter mania unleashed by Jack and his new best friends: “Now he’s got a shot-up, coked-up Czech-Russian ex-KGB man to deal with.”
An unlikely hero, Jack plunges into a world he has left behind, after-hours clubs and exotic dancers and pushers, from the locals to trigger-happy Colombians. The high point for Jack is an instant romance with a hot bartender and an unexpected affection for his pals who may be, after all, ex-KGB agents.
Wheeling and dealing from one day to the next, Jack finds himself in the middle of flying bullets and fists - and he loves every minute. In an adrenaline rush, this is where the action is, for Jack a natural high, the only one sober. Never missing a beat, Harwood pulls off a wild tale that is funny if daunting, Jack and his unlikely companions bouncing from one crazy conflict to another, laughing all the way. The question is: will Jack ever be able to go back to his boring life in the straight world?