All That Glitters

Jerry Kennealy, Author
Jerry Kennealy, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-15049-5
Paperback - 236 pages - 978-1-61232-895-9
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While it's a pleasant enough exercise to hang out with San Francisco PI Nick Polo (seen most recently in 1994's Beggar's Choice), this feather-light case is seldom fully engaging. Worse, by the conclusion, the narrative lapses into downright sloppiness. Polo is hired to tail a mysterious Russian woman who claims to be in possession of an ancient Greek coin that once belonged to the son of Genghis Kahn. The woman also turns out to possess several names, and she moonlights as an escort for an agency specializing in providing pretty and expensive girls from the former Soviet Union. Along the way, Polo gets to frequent Lickie's Massage Parlor; fend off the latest lusty young niece pushed at him by his tenant, an old Italian woman; meet shady antique dealers and even shadier government-trained PIs. Oh, yes, he also has a near-death experience. Kennealy doesn't put a lot of effort into maintaining the logic of his plot, but his agreeably light tone carries the story forward--except when Polo indulges in longwinded laments for the spiritual death of San Francisco. (Jan.)
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