The Other Side of Death

Judith Van Gieson, Author HarperCollins Publishers $18.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-06-016581-9
Hard-bitten lawyer Neil Hamel puts in her third appearance (after Raptor ) in this grim but satisfying mystery. When Lonnie Darmer, Neil's friend from the freewheeling 1970s, is found dead in one of the Indian caves near Santa Fe, N.M., the local police dismiss the event as a suicide. Lonnie had been depressed, drinking heavily and, presumably, taking drugs. But Neil is not convinced. She knows that Lonnie, who was opposed to the construction of a huge, monstrously ugly office building in downtown Santa Fe, had evidence that the head of the Historic Preservation Board had been bribed. Neil's confrontational manner ignites sparks with whomever she interviews: Michael Railback, the complacent yet malicious police detective; Ci, a wealthy psychic who speaks her own convoluted psychobabble; and Rick, Lonnie's pompous former husband, whose firm is building the controversial structure. But it is Neil's own uninhibited lifestyle that enables her to collect vital information from some barely marginal members of society. The rich atmosphere of North New Mexico and some off-beat and intriguing characters combine to give this book a sharp and appealing edge. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 215 pages - 978-0-671-74565-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-9482-0
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