Steroid Blues

Richard La Plante, Author
Richard La Plante, Author Forge $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85810-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-8125-5073-3
Paperback - 282 pages - 978-1-4992-6550-7
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Philadelphia police detective Bill Fogarty and forensic pathologist Josef Tanaka are back in another volatile mixture of sadism and suspense from LaPlante (Mantis; Leopard). A local doctor is discovered dead in S/M gear, every bone in his body broken; in his closet, the police find a videotape that shows two men torturing, raping and possibly killing a masked and bound woman. One of the men is the dead physician, and Fogarty strongly suspects the other is Horst Nickles, white-supremacist body builder, gym owner and peddler of illegal steroids. When a shady videographer is murdered, grotesquely impaled on his camera tripod, Fogarty becomes convinced that Nickles is the killer. When Fogarty learns that body-builder Jack Dunne, brother of the videotaped woman, is bent on revenge, the narrative spins into a triangular stalking game as Dunne, Nickles and Fogarty head to a spectacular and gory climax. LaPlante's quick-cutting speeds the action along, albeit often at the expense of characterization, and pumped-up, steroid-crazed heavies provide more than enough menace. Sharp-eyed readers may guess the plot's wild climactic twist early on; even those who don't are more likely to be annoyed than wowed. Still, the relentless pace and grim action should satisfy most La Plante fans. Author tour. (May)
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