Save the Last Dance for Me , etc.) trades on Cold War fears and the repercussions from the political and soc"/>

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

Edward Gorman, Author, Ed Gorman, Author . Carroll & Graf $24 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1296-0

The sixth Sam McCain novel from Shamus-winner Gorman (Save the Last Dance for Me , etc.) trades on Cold War fears and the repercussions from the political and social issues of a bygone era. It's late October 1962, the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the townsfolk of Black River Falls, Iowa, are huddled in churches waiting for nuclear annihilation. When gubernatorial candidate Ross Murdoch pays McCain to look over his bomb shelter, McCain discovers the body of a recently murdered young woman, Karen Hastings. The four suspects in the killing are all prosperous, well-respected locals who had been sexually involved with the dead woman. As if this weren't enough, two of McCain's past loves are undergoing simultaneous divorces. The mystery plot is less engrossing, however, than the period Gorman evokes in such Proustian detail: a soda fountain with "the old ice cream chairs and the crooked paperback rack that squeaked when you turned it around"; the exact look, feel and circumference of a bomb shelter; and, best of all, "the ancient Rialto theater" regularly showing the works of the "holy trinity" of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy. It's a fast, entertaining read, but when it's over, all that's left is a reservoir of good feelings and pervasive nostalgia for a time that may strike many readers as positively idyllic from today's perspective. (Mar. 2)

FYI: Gorman cofounded Mystery Scene magazine with Robert J. Randisi (see review below).

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.