It's Not a Pretty Sight

Gar Anthony Haywood, Author Putnam Publishing Group $22.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-399-14132-4
Aaron Gunner, one of a growing number of notable fictional black sleuths including Easy Rawlins, Marti MacAlister and Blanche White, drives the meanest streets of South-Central L.A. in a bright red Cobra. The fourth Gunner mystery, and the first since 1993's You Can Die Trying, finds the PI trying to cope with the murder of a former girlfriend caught in an abusive relationship while he does a bit of skip-tracing for Best Way Electronics owner Roman Goody. Finding the skip suspect brings more trouble and pain than he--or his client--bargained for. And searching for Nina Pearson's killer leads him to a sequence of victims' stories that are as ugly as the title promises. He finds these stories at Sisterhood House, a shelter where Nina stayed; at the law firm that fired her; at the studio of a photographer documenting the lives of abused women. Giving Gunner a searing anger at those who show disrespect for and mistreat others, Haywood surrounds his detective with a vibrant cast of minor characters, all of whom leave strong impressions. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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