Desperate Highways

John Maddox Roberts, Author Thomas Dunne Books $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-17176-6
From the outset, this third in a series (after The Ghosts of Saigon, 1996) is crippled by multiple implausibilities and murky plotting. Knoxville, Tenn., PI Gabe Treloar starts his search for Sybil, missing daughter of his boss, Randall Carson, in Virginia, where the 23-year-old was last seen. Nice-girl Sybil has fallen hard for--and taken off with--Nick Switzer, a bad boy with a long record. By a series of unlikely hunches, Gabe tracks the kids to Las Vegas. There the plot picks up and the many characters and their interests intersect: a pair of right-wing yahoos; a sharp bounty hunter and his tough-talking woman partner; Nick and Sybil, who have ripped off a paramilitary organization; and Gabe. Gabe issues a lot of seen-it-all sociopolitical commentary along the way, much of it prompted by the right-wingers' knee-jerk beliefs and the scam Nick and Sybil have instigated. There's a standoff and more deaths before this plot reaches resolution. Gabe's fans may be disappointed in the likable ex-cop's involvement in this hard to credit tale. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
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