Night Shots Anthology by John Argo
Suspense with a touch of the Macabre
Jean-Thomas Cullen writing as John Argo
Lou Burns is a man on the run, who has shifted identities so often he cannot really remember who he is. He is young, handsome, charming—a chameleon who specializes in bored, attractive older women whiling their hours away in the country club bars of the super-rich.
This is another man on the run story from John Argo (a specialty of the author, it seems)--but Lou Burns is neither the redeemable Tom (Orrow) of Being & Becoming, nor the handsome and deadly Rob Turlock of Terror in my Arms. If we triangulate, we find that Lou Burns appears on the radar in a place that makes him seem creepy, yet at the same time he elicits sympathy. We warn the reader: you may find this tale a dish too rich, with a gamey undertone that reeks of musky and exotic spices. This honest glimpse of desperate lives may linger on the night air like too much of a cloying perfume. That's part of the risk and exhilaration with Night Shots.
Lou Burns is a cipher, forever under the police microscope--but capable of slipping from jurisdiction to jurisdiction just ahead of his own petty crimes. At the Hill Club, he tries his usual schemes and games. The place seems yet another wealthy people's elite watering hole of golf, booze, business deals, and sexual allure heavily tinged with ennui. This time is different from all the other country clubs like it. He encounters two forces that are beyond his facile artistry.
One is Linda Argento, beautiful and untouchable daughter of his wealthy lover Marie. Whatever Lou Burns has, she's got more of it, and colder. Check but not mate.
The other is an out-of-town, transgendered woman named Allison Jane, tall and vulnerable, who possesses exotic beauty and frank, wounded sexuality requiring delicate handling. Mate but not check.
The human animal finds love in unexpected places. We are scattered puzzle pieces without an instruction sheet. When our jagged edges chance to fit into a matching opposite, we learn something about that person--and ourselves.
In this story, Lou Burns steps into a tangled web of circumstance surrounding the Hill Club, and this time--for a change--he's in over his head. He must stop running long enough to start thinking, which in turn makes him confront himself. Is he doing the maneuvering, or is he being baited and switched? Or bitched and ditched? Is he the fooler or the foolee?
Has Lou found love, and is this finally the end of his long road that has no destination, only yesterdays?
Or will Lou Burns, once again, vanish--leaving yet one more police department puzzled at a dead end, while he continues to run?
You decide. Sort through the evidence, and take your best stab at figuring Lou Burns' next move.
Take a Night Shot.
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