Elsinore

Jerome Charyn, Author
Jerome Charyn, Author Mysterious Press $18.95 (249p) ISBN 978-0-89296-361-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-40111-1
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Sidney Holden, the well-known ``bumper'' (read: hit man) previously introduced in Paradise Man , makes his home in a world ``where there are no rules.'' So he's immune to surprise when he is brought out of retirement by Howard Phipps, 92 years old and the acknowledged king of the underworld--and, in a former incarnation, possibly the world's greatest cantor. A serious leak threatens to sink Phipps's empire, but while Holden is attempting to locate and plug it, Phipps is busy launching elaborate schemes to destroy him. Thus Holden and Phipps become locked in a sort of danse macabre which variously includes the Queens (N.Y.) DA; Holden's mistress (the DA's depressive daughter-in-law) and his ex-partner; Phipps's ex-wife and his putative daughter; and an array of ``business'' associates. Elsinore, Hamlet's castle and here the name of a residence for the insane, aptly connotes the semifantastic atmosphere and inhabitants of this wacky but delightful story, just as Charyn's polished pacing fuels the exuberantly complicated plot. (Apr.)
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