Fth-Virgil's Ghost

Irving Weinman, Author
Irving Weinman, Author Fawcett Books $16.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-449-90445-9
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
The author of two previous Lenny Schwartz mysteries ( Tailor's Dummy and Hampton Heat ) is good at character invention. Harvard grad Schwartz drops out of the NYPD to become a private eye, and hires a Russian Jewish emigre fence variously known as Yarmolinsky, Resnick and Addison to help investigate the death of Virgil Hayes. Since Hayes may have had AIDS, it's possible that he was a bizarre suicide (his dismembered body was painted blue with gold veins), a willing victim of a snuff show. To prove his son was neither diseased, nor, as rumored, a spy, Virgil's father hires Schwartz, who pries the lid off a CIA cover-up, plays word games, solves a case involving nuclear armament, regains his wife after a trial separation, and assuages his guilt about accepting a bribe. In the course of all this, Schwartz turns down an offer to see a key file, carries evidence around for days before having it analyzed, and hardly frets when his son is missing. These weaknesses in plotting are artfully veiled by amusing settings and literate prose. (Jan.)
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