Par Four

Elizabeth Gunn, Author
Elizabeth Gunn, Author Walker & Company $22.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3324-5
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-440-22636-9
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Jake Hines, the newly appointed chief of detectives in blue-collar Rutherford, Minn. (pop. 100,000), seems overwhelmed with a spate of crimes. But as this busy and engaging mystery quickly shows, the unassuming officer can, with a little help from his six amiable detectives, rise to the challenge. Rowdy's Bar has been robbed, and Babe Krueger, the bar's owner and Jake's old pal, was left bound and gagged in the basement. Suspicion immediately falls on Babe's surly son Randy and his disreputable friends. When Babe and Randy's bodies are found tied together three days later in a river, the case takes on a more sinister air. Jake's team, all enthusiastic novices, lend their skills (photography, fingerprinting, etc.) and fan out through the city in a widening investigation that just might tie in with some other problems, including a child's kidnapping and a thriving drug ring. Jake's mounting frustration with his increasing case load lends urgency to the narrative; he is particularly puzzled when an unlikely pair pleads guilty to the bar robbery. This second Jake Hines adventure (after Triple Play) starts slowly and wraps up implausibly, but clever writing, zesty action and a simmering romance carry the day. Agent, Kristen Lindstrom Literary Agency. (Jan.)
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