Everything But the Squeal

Timothy Hallinan, Author
Timothy Hallinan, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-453-00694-1
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Simeon Grist, seen before in The Four Last Things , is an up-to-date private eye, a hip survivor of the Woodstock Generation bemused by current L.A. life. He's also a bit seedy, drinking too much and backsliding into cigarette smoking, with a wry outlook and heart of gold that keep him squarely in the hardboiled Hammett-Chandler tradition. Hired to find a 13-year-old runaway who left Kansas to become a Hollywood star, Simeon soon finds himself mired in L.A.'s seamy underworld of teenage hustlers, pimps and all-around losers. Using as decoys his teenage godchild Jessica and a young computer whiz smitten by her, Simeon uncovers a vast interstate ring involving a talent agency, a bent cop and high-tech kiddy-sex. While providing a nasty new meaning for a computer ``menu'' and some scenes not for the squeamish, Hallinan employs skillful pacing, L.A. color and Simeon's attractive persona to grip readers right through the gory climax and somewhat reassuring ending. (Apr.)
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