The American Satan

Kirby Farrell, Author
Kirby Farrell, Author Walker & Company $18.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5756-2
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
In the waiting room of a Boston hospital where his ex-wife has been taken after a serious accident, New York private eye Duncan Ames is retained by a woman who says cryptically, ``I can't stand the threats.'' Calling on her that night, he finds she has been executed at her dinner table, shot in the back of the head. The threats, signed ``the American Satan,'' may have targeted her employer, an Iranian-born chiropractor. Two people come under suspicion: an ultra-right-wing publisher and a disgruntled ex-patient. On the other hand, the dead woman, who had recently quarreled with her former son-in-law, may have been the intended victim all along. Ames, a romantic relationship with his female partner in New York notwithstanding, becomes involved with the deceased's beautiful daughter. This is pretty standard fare, enhanced slightly by Ames's bittersweet relations with his ex-wife and daughter. Most readers will quickly figure out what is going on and wonder at the hero's failure to do the same. After Farrell's auspicious debut in Cony-Catching , this beginning book of a proposed series is a disappointment. Mystery Guild alternate. (Apr.)
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