The Horse Latitudes

Robert Ferrigno, Author
Robert Ferrigno, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-688-09060-9
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
This impressive first novel by a nationally syndicated journalist is a curious and winning combination of noir violence, L.A. attitude, drug-inspired lunacy and sheer storytelling bravado. At the center of the web is vanished Lauren Kiel--psychologist, management consultant and amoral beauty par excellence, whose home has been the scene of a grisly ritual murder. Danny DeMedici, Lauren's ex-husband, is the prime suspect in the slaying, and when a former debutante, detective Jane Holt, wants to put the finger on him, it's up to Danny, an erstwhile drug dealer, to figure out what happened to Lauren and her dead boyfriend, Dr. Tohlson. He enlists the aid of Cubanito, a dealer, and also seeks out Michael Kiel, Lauren's brother, a Vietnam vet turned pothead. But Danny's efforts are thwarted by Tohlson's partner, the nefarious Dr. Arthur Reese, as well as Reese's goon-like twin nephews, the physiologically perfect (but incorrigibly stupid) Lloyd and Boyd, and his sadistic security chief McVey, for reasons involving millions of dollars, computer discs and the secret of eternal life. Ferrigno's taste for the whimsical, sexual and fantastic, combined with his keen eye for Californian absurdity, saves this highly commercial concoction from going flat, and though certain questions about motivation remain unresolved, the novel is a perfect escape into quirky, sunny, sexy postmodern suspense. Major ad/promo; BOMC alternate; author tour. (Mar.)
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