The Edge of the Crazies

Jamie Harrison, Author Hyperion Books $32.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6085-2
Blue Deer, Mont., cradled between the Absaroka and the aptly named Crazy mountain ranges, makes a fine setting for this debut mystery that is by turns side-splitting and dark. Early one Sunday morning, screenwriter George Blackwater types a script idea on his PC that smacks of autobiographical, and hungover, self-absorption: ``Crazy writer, victim of tragic error of youth, is dispossessed by soulless brother and bitch mother, embittered by fat wife.'' Moments later, a sniper's bullets waste George's monitor-and George. Enter Sheriff Jules Clement, whose first suspect is George's unlovable, oft-betrayed wife. But she disappears, and, by the time Jules finds her, is dead. Other suspects include George's brother, also a screenwriter and skilled seducer, whose hatred for George was generously reciprocated. A third party despises them both. As the body count rises, Jules, whose story this really is, contemplates the death of his father, also a sheriff, in the line of duty 20 years before and learns that George's high-school sweetheart died in a suspicious accident around that same time. Another corpse is found before the mystery's complicated, none-too-startling finale. Jules may often seem more surly than convivial, but that's a reasonable response to the doings in Blue Deer, a town harboring enough venality for more Jules Clement mysteries. Author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 324 pages - 978-0-312-95942-5
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