Sweet Death

Bill Waggoner, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3208-8
A somewhat pompous narrator and a mostly moribund plot sink this debut. Fowler McFarland, an ex-FBI man with a Ph.D. in constitutional law and author of a bestseller about a mass murder, hopes to find some peace in Nacogdoches, Tex., his hometown. Teaching at the local college, he is asked by the town sheriff for help investigating the seemingly senseless murder of Maureen Wilson, who taught court reporting. McFarland, with the aid of his former student and current lover, Beth Sue Bush, discovers that one of Wilson's students was also killed, and the connection between the deaths hinges on a case the two victims had been reporting. A probe leads McFarland and Bush to a local billionaire who has implausibly put in motion an equally implausible plot to rid Texas of its worst criminals. But Waggoner has provided no buildup to this astounding plan, nor is there any way for McFarland to stop it. Not that the reader will feel much sympathy--our hero damns himself with cranky comments and clumsy post-coital confessions (``For the first time in my life, I understood fully the expression `rode hard and put away wet' ''). (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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