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Product details

  • Paperback | 295 pages
  • 140 x 220mm | 320g
  • Peter Owen Publishers
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0720606225
  • 9780720606225

Review Text

Case #7 for California insurance-sleuth Dave Brandstetter - who's looking into the road-"accident" death of independent trucker Paul Myers. . . which was really the result of a bombing. At first, as Dave makes inquiries in Myers' rough, black/Hispanic neighborhood (his Jaguar is promptly vandalized), he zeroes in on two likely suspects: Bruce Kilgore, lover of Myers' wife Angela, owner of a struggling local private-school (Myers' life was insured for $100,000); and Silencio Ruiz, a street-gang leader, imprisoned for two years on Paul Myers' testimony. Soon, however, disturbed by some unanswered questions (e.g., who beat up the silent, frightened Angela Myers?), Dave concentrates instead on the nature of trucker Myers' nightwork - especially when it appears that another solo trucker, black Ossie Bishop, died recently of natural, but strange causes. And eventually, while sheltering Bishop's harassed family, Dave and his assistant/lover Cecil uncover a shady network for the trucking of toxic wastes . . . along with a tacked-on revenge motive. The solution is less than satisfying, then; the toxic-waste angle (cf. James Crumley's 1983 Dancing Bear and others) is too predictably handled; and the inconsistent dialect-dialogue for the black characters is an annoying distraction. Still, Hansen's laconic narration and his eye for social detail give this otherwise-routine outing a lift - as does a curious subplot about the aged, tower-dwelling transvestite who's harboring that fugitive street-gang leader. (Kirkus Reviews)show more