The Fifth Level

Edward Mathis, Author Scribner Book Company $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19386-1
Texas PI Dan Roman, last seen in September Song , is only human--tough as whipcord but weak when it comes to tequila, cigarettes, poker and his young ``very nearly voluptuous'' ex-wife Susie, who is now ready to take him back. But before they can remarry, Susie is threatened by two thugs as a warning to Dan not to come to the aid of neighbor Warren Stillwell. A brilliant, strangely childish cancer researcher at a Dallas lab, Stillwell has asked Dan to find out who is trying to kill him. Pitted against a clever, merciless mystery man, Dan dodges bullets and (unsuccessfully) the advances of Warren's neurotic sister as Mathis develops his fast-paced, violent story. From Army medical records the detective learns that Warren suffered an accident toward the end of the Vietnam war that put him in a coma for two years. More evidence points to a secret medical experiment gone wildly wrong and leads Dan to a tense confrontation between Warren and a vengeful fellow soldier/victim. A most satisfying scene of carnage ensues. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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