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Don't Look Down    by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer order for
Don't Look Down
by Jennifer Crusie
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Movie Director Lucy Armstrong is self-made and self-sufficient. Against her better judgment, she accepts a four day job to finish the last scenes of a movie for which her ex-husband is the stunt coordinator. When she arrives at the movie set on the Savannah River she finds a depleted crew and total chaos, but no one will tell her why.

Green Beret Captain J. T. Wilder arrives from nearby Fort Bragg at the same time that Lucy does. Hired to be a stunt double for the movie's star, he is also a CIA plant. Sparks immediately begin to fly between Lucy and J. T., much to the aggravation of Lucy's ex-husband who hoped to use their time together to win her back.

J. T. finds out the helicopter stunt is a cover for getting stolen art and pre-Columbian jade phallic symbols into the hands of a Russian mobster wanted by the CIA. To complicate matters, a killer lurks in the swamps along the river and a one-eyed alligator guards her eggs under the bridge where most of the filming takes place.

Crusie is a master at creating female characters that readers love. Lucy is a strong woman with idiosyncrasies that make her appealing and sympathetic. J. T., brave, loyal and stupid about women, has flaws that make him less appealing. He and his friend, helicopter pilot Major LaFavre, seem to have a fetish about women's breasts. They have one important meeting in a strip club where it is almost impossible to focus on their mission.

With a plot full of holes and a hero who is borderline, Don't Look Down is still readable with an exciting ending, but it lacks the quick wit and warm humor that make Crusie's other books such outstanding reads.

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