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The PayBack

Hilary Hawke

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : iUniverse

Published : 2000

Copyright : Hilary Hawke 2000

ISBN-10 : PB 0-595-00547-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-595-00547-5

Publisher's Write-Up

Claudia Lopez waits for her husband at Newark International Airport, unaware that he's gone into hiding in the wake of a botched drug deal. Now, eight hours after completing the long flight from Bolivia with their infant daughter, she's stranded in the bustling arrivals building, wondering what to do next. At first, Margot Fortune, the elegant and sympathetic woman who offers her a ride to Manhattan, appears to be her salvation. Claudia will discover that appearances can be deceiving. Her world will be turned upside-down when, adrift in an unforgiving city, she's threatened with the kidnapping of her baby if she fails to pay back her husband's drug debt. As Claudia desperately searches for a way out of her nightmare, Margot leads her on a harrowing tour of the Big Apple's dark underbelly and into the shadowy world of high-priced prostitution, drugs and violence.

About the Author:
Hilary Hawke studied writing at the Writing Center in Englewood, New Jersey. In addition to her first book, The Payback, she's written the thriller, Poetic Justice and is completing a historical occult novel entitled The Firekeeper. When she's not writing, Ms. Hawke teaches music.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (211120) Rating (8/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 8/10

Hilary Hawke's The Payback begins on a perplexing note. Unexpectedly finding herself striding back into the Newark Airpark Terminal; Margot Fortune had been moving toward the taxi stand.

An inadvertent meeting with an uneasy young woman, who with her baby has been waiting many hours for the spouse who unaccountably had not appeared has brought about Margot’s change of plan. Herself, at one time a promising young actress, gathers Claudia Lopez and her sleeping child for a taxicab ride across the city to the place where the absent husband and father is expected to be staying. Arrival at the destination brings more anxiety and minute satisfaction.

Unknown to his wife, much less a recently met stranger Margot Fortune, Antonio’s arrival in America was quickly followed his falling for the attractiveness of quick money and the dissipate existence of a drug dealer. On the day Antonio was supposed to meet his family at the airport Antonio wakes in an intoxicated torpor and the frightening realization that he has lost a kilo of cocaine over and above his forgetting to meet Claudia and his child. Antonio recognizes to settle the debt his thoughtless bosses will take either the money, the drugs or his wife and daughter if necessary.

When it becomes unmistakable that Claudia and her infant daughter Julianna really have nowhere to go; Margot offers both mother and child a place to stay. Before long more or less on her own in a strange country where she knows only Margot; Claudia begins to consider that Antonio has either plainly abandoned her and their baby, or, she thinks perhaps something has happened to him. Determined to support herself and Juliana; she sets out to find any work offered. Along the way Claudia comes to the realization that few if any of the people she comes in contact with can be trusted. Ultimately Claudia sees more of the dark world of sex, drugs and prostitution than she had ever anticipated she might.

An action thriller engaged with in depth character study; The Payback offers a primary trio of engrossing, sufficiently established players in addition to an assorted group of plausible minor characters. Claudia Lopez, the young stranger to an unfamiliar land is revealed to not be quite so pathetic or powerless as she first appears to be. Antonio, Claudia’s aberrant husband, too late apprehends the effects of his thoughtless dealings. As well, Patron Margot Fortune may not be quite the charitable help she presents upon first meeting her.

Novelist Hawke’s to the point, powerful writing manner indicates she has genuine writing aptitude. Voices of the primary characters are devout, trustworthy and offer the reader with a penetrating glimpse into the narrative behind the characters. The reader will differentiate both the self-self-confidence as well as the mordancy felt by Claudia and Margot too, as they endeavour to find some answers for complications facing them.

The Payback is broadly speaking based on Hawke’s up-close coup d'oeil into the Manhattan call girl trade garnered from her days as a professional musician, who oftentimes accepted odd jobs to tide her over between gigs. Hawke discloses she worked as a bank teller, florist, NYC cabdriver, waitress and once, inadvertently, as a receptionist in a Sutton Place Brothel.

The Payback is a jolting narration that grabs reader interest speedily and sustains it to the conclusion. From beginning to end The Payback is a fast-paced, tingle packed romp. An elaborated shocker of uncertainty having a hefty persuasion of enigma completed with sub plots thrown in; The Payback proffers animated episodes sure to delight the adrenaline seeker.

The big city drug crowd is pretty well stereotyped as predatory on the pages of Writer Hawkes novel. On occasion, while some sub-plotting seems a bit out of kilter for those who prefer a more formula read, fans of a taxing suspense thriller will receive abundantly positive feedback while reading Hilary Hawke’s exciting chiller.

Not for the cowardly, The Payback overflows in variability of forceful, disconcerting sex scenes, repellent types, aberrant sex, lowlifes and drugs.

Happy to recommend for those who enjoy a well penned, fast paced account filled with thrills, and intensity.
Molly Martin (21st November 2020)

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