The Hampton Connection

Vincent Lardo, Author
Vincent Lardo, Author Putnam Publishing Group $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-14631-2
Reviewed on: 05/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
""The Jockstrap Murder"" has a nice ring to it, no? At least that's what the media think about their own headline for the grisly centerpiece of Lardo's Hampton Affair sequel, set once again on the eponymous East Coast playground of the rich. Heather, daughter of old salt Job Ryan, and her brother Ryan's adopted son, Bill, become reluctant accomplices in a cocaine-running operation. When the heat is turned up, Bill leaves home, only to return a year later for his acting debut at the John Drew Theater. While Bill is sweating under the footlights, Heather is murdered in Bill's rental cottage, a Freddy Parc designer jockstrap used as a garrote. Paul Monroe, the model whose body infamously appears in Freddy Parc ads, is one of Bill's cottage roommates. Paul is also the godson of producer Michael Reo, who has film plans for Paul. When Paul falls under suspicion by local detectives, Michael goes to bat. Once again Lardo proves he knows his territory, right down to the eateries and the attitudes, providing social commentary on the landscape's transformation from potato patch to Hollywood East. The locked-cottage mystery is compelling, raising a whole slew of case-related questions, not least of which is whodunit? And why with a Freddy Parc jockstrap? One crucial oversight on the detectives' part does strain credibility. Still, Lardo's tinselly tale of greed, power and murder is entertaining enough to help readers gear up for the beach season ahead. (May)
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