Excerpt from Absolute Rage by Robert K. Tanenbaum, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Absolute Rage

by Robert K. Tanenbaum

Absolute Rage
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 368 pages
    Jul 2003, 480 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"For example?" said the man in the backseat, his tone avid. Mr. Ballantine checked his mirror. The man's eyes were wide with interest.

"For example, you could find some guys in a bar around where you come from, a couple of tough guys, what d'y'call them, good old boys. And you could give them a couple of grand and they'd go do it for you. Assuming they do it at all and not get drunk and fuck it up, it'd take maybe three, four days before they told someone, or the cops traced something they dropped at the scene back to them, and a couple of hours after that, they'd come and arrest you, because those boys'll give you up quicker than shit. On the other hand, you saved all that money."

"I'm not that stupid, Mr. Ballantine," said the man coldly, after a brief silence.

"We don't know that yet. If you're not stupid, either you're going to forget about the job, kiss and make up with this fella, or you're going to give me twenty-five large in assorted unconsecutive currency. Those are the two nonstupid options. Up to you, Jim. I could care less either way."

"I'll have to think about it," said the man, easing across the seat. "Other people are involved in this."

That would be another mistake, thought Mr. Ballantine, but said nothing as the man walked back to his rental. When the car had disappeared, Mr. Ballantine got out into the heat and snapped off the magnetized fake New York plates and tossed them in the trunk, revealing the authentic Jersey plates underneath. Sealing it off.

The voices of children woke her out of a sun-dazed nap and she sat up in the beach chair, checking first of all to see if Lizzie was there, and of course she was, building her sand castle where the sand got damp. There were two boys, about ten years old, both dark-haired and lean, one in a red Speedo suit and one in baggy cutoffs. They were splashing in the shallows of the Sound, playing with something big and black, a truck-tire inner tube? In the distance was an adult, obscure now in the glare and salt haze. A woman.

Rose allowed herself a moment of annoyance. Crab Point was a private beach, although who it actually belonged to just now was a lawyer's guess. But it had been in her family for generations. She had come here as a child, to the big white house on the beach, and she had brought the boys here when they were babies, and now, after a long hiatus, she had brought Lizzie, and who was this woman to come here as if it were a public park, with her two noisy kids and her Dog. The thing was the size of a calf, black, dripping sea spray and slaver, and it was rushing directly at her and Lizzie. Her belly jumped with fear. She started to get to her feet to get between the monster and her little girl, who was kneeling next to her sand castle, her back to the onrushing dog, oblivious.

There came a piercing double whistle and the dog, now not more than three yards from Rose, spun instantly around like a mechanical toy, throwing a gout of sand as it skidded, and immediately began to race back toward the other woman.

Who waved and called, "Sorreeee!"

Rose experienced a rush of anger, at the woman and that animal, but also at herself, for her appalling cowardice. She had never been frightened of dogs before.

"Can I go in, Mom?" asked Lizzie. "It's boiling." She had her little red tube around her waist.

"Sure, honey, I'll come with you." Rose was afraid of the water, too, afraid of letting the girl go in by herself, although Lizzie had been a good swimmer since the age of five. When had she become a coward? As soon as she asked the question, she knew.

From the water, floating on her back, she watched the other woman spread her blanket and set up her backrest, and, with somewhat more interest, her undressing. She wore a small, blue-striped bikini, although she was rather mature for a bikini -- late thirties, early forties, Rose judged. A terrific, lithe body though, obviously one of those disgusting women who could eat anything and went wiry rather than slack with age. Another reason to dislike her. Rose rolled over and began to swim back and forth on the gentle swell. Maybe she could work off a few pounds before Red got here.

Copyright © 2002 by Robert K. Tanenbaum.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.