Here Comes Trouble 

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"I'm driving cross-country. I'm exhausted. And I'm on Vicodin." So said author Eric Jerome Dickey on the phone from Atlanta, where he was about to embark on a nationwide book tour. But Dickey wasn't talking about himself. He was imagining what was going on in the mind of Dmytryk Knight, lead character in Dickey's latest novel, Tempted by Trouble (Dutton). And that's not all that's on Dmytryk's mind.

He was downsized from Detroit auto exec to the assembly line. Then he was downsized out of the auto industry altogether. He delivered pizzas to make ends meet, and his wife was a stripper (stage name: Trouble) to make ends meet — until she up and left Dmytryk when times got too tough. Things get even tougher when Dmytryk, in desperation, acts as "wheelman" to a gang of bank robbers. Eddie: He's head honcho of the outfit. Sammy: He's part of the outfit. And Jackie: She's Sammy's girlfriend until Sammy gets gunned down and she takes up with Dmytryk. Who to trust in this bloody tale of betrayal and of a good guy gone very bad? It's a question Dmytryk asks himself — a lot.

No question: Eric Jerome Dickey, who lives in Los Angeles, has got a good thing going. Tempted by Trouble is his 18th novel, and his books have a major following.

Dickey's back in his hometown, Memphis, on August 20th, when he'll be signing his new book — and probably participating in another impromptu family reunion. That's what, the author said, his signing last year at Davis-Kidd amounted to. And why shouldn't it?

"I'm from Memphis," Dickey said. "I was born in Memphis. I'll always be from Memphis. I just live in L.A."

Eric Jerome Dickey signing "Tempted by Trouble," Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Friday, August 20th, 6 p.m. (683-9801).

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