The Desert Look

Bernard Schopen, Author
Bernard Schopen, Author Mysterious Press $17.45 (261p) ISBN 978-0-89296-354-6
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Nevada private eye Jack Ross, seen before in The Big Silence , is tracked to his desert home by TV reporter Miranda Santee who shows him an old photograph of two show girls, one dead and one long missing with a lot of cash stolen from Natty Stern's casino skimmings. The dead show girl was Jack's mother; his desire to learn more about her draws him out of retirement and pits him against the aging Stern, his crude and crazed gunsel Hiram Vanca (whom the girls shot and left for dead), the charming and unreliable poker dealer Lanky Chandler and his beautiful, troubled daughter Sage, and a long list of goons, ghosts and aliases. A bulletin board would help in keeping track of these characters and their stories, which often change. Trying to stay alive while he determines who is stalking him and Miranda, Jack traverses the dark and bogus underbelly of a world with no topside, where lives betrayed by the glitter are reflected in the vacant, ``desert look'' in so many eyes. The style is as spare as the Nevada landscape, whose desert and mountains are nicely described. For readers who revel in noir mystery (and can match Jack's patience in ferreting out facts), Schopen's latest will satisfy. (June)
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