Bucket Nut

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In this first book of a new series by Liza Cody, we meet Eva Wylie, a rough, ugly, and unscrupulous “heroine.” She lives in a trailer at a junk yard where she and her dogs act as guards. Wrestling is her second career. Her third sideline is delivering sealed packages for a Chinese merchant.

Unknown to Eva, the Chinese shopkeeper heads a gang that is fighting a protection war in the neighborhood. One night when Eva picks up an extra job providing security at a nightclub, she also picks up trouble. The female singer in the band is passed out on the floor when a police raid has everyone scrambling to hide. Eva, whose name is known to the polizei in ways she would like them to forget, intends to exit through a secret door before they spot her. On her way, she picks up the unconscious girl and carries her home. Unfortunately, the band turns out to have been connected to the rival gang, and her rescue of the girl is seen as treason by the Chinese merchant. In the next delivery she makes to the rival faction, there is a bomb hidden in the package. Eva barely escapes with limbs intact, and several gang members are killed in the blast. Now both gangs are after her: the Chinese merchant’s, because they want her dead; and the rival’s, because she killed some of their members.

Eva’s next wrestling match turns into a gang fight. In the end, she’s out hustling again but has an offer to team with Anna Lee, detective/heroine of other Cody books.