Tiger! Tiger!

Richard Hoyt, Author Forge $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85804-9
Mixing environmentalism and political chicanery with an uninspired murder mystery, Hoyt sends the redoubtable James Burlane (Marimba, 1993, etc.) on a veritable world tour to Germany, Africa, India, Siberia and the Far East in search of the buyers of poached tigers, who sell the cats' bones at extravagant profit for use in traditional Chinese remedies. Meanwhile, a German detective, Hermann Iversen, is tracking an international serial killer who paints his female victims with tiger stripes before he kills them. Before these two plot lines converge in the Philippines, Burlane, hired by a consortium of environmental groups to make a dent in the tiger trade, must sort his way though a duplicitous cast of poachers, environmentalists and local hustlers; at the same time, the serial killer's body count grows. While Hoyt's prose is deft and dark-humored, his plotting and pacing are off. He switches venues too often, and both the murders and the resolution have a by-the-numbers feel. Despite its charms, this yarn is more housecat than tiger, and doesn't burn as bright as most of Burlane's other, more dangerous and more intriguing, adventures. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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