Gibson packs an epic crime novel into a sleek 300 pages: a dozen or so major players, each with 2 or 3 different agendas, pursuing a misplaced load of mob heroin. (Epic crime comes in units called Ellroys, right?). The sheer density of capers and double-dealings would seem to promise all kinds of leaden exposition, but Gibson's got a master's touch--the book flies, with a great deal of wit. Even better, it's real wit
, not whimsy--characters say and do funny things, but as Elmore Leonard would put it, they don't know they're funny.