Skinny Man

James Colbert, Author Holiday House $18.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-689-12098-5
While on a 30-day suspension from the New Orleans Police Department (for reckless driving), the eponymous Skinny,no last name the undercover officer introduced in No Special Hurry , is serving as resident policeman in a big apartment complex. When Karen Hodges, a sexy blonde tenant, becomes a potential witness to an arson/murder, Skinny unofficially returns to semi-active duty. Karen lures him into her investment scheme to outwit the wealthy real estate hustlers she claims are her partners. Thanks to her fireman/arsonist lover, the property ``package'' she is assembling literally starts to sizzle. Skinny tries to nail the firebug who has torched the property and, accidentally, someone inside. But Skinny's quest for information is plodding and predictable, hampered by his limited access to police resources and irksome in his habit of referring to himself only in the third person. Fortunately, a tense subplot pitting the community's haves vs. its have-nots sparks the action and provides some believable motives for Colbert's other quirky characters. Although readers may be entertained by the adventures of the eccentric, impulsive police officer, few will have trouble solving the crime before Skinny does. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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