Dancer's Debt

John Lutz, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-312-00028-8
Edgar-winner Lutz (Nightlines, Ride the Lightning) will probably not win new readers here. Helen Crane, a beauty ""men build dreams around,'' hires private eye Alo Nudger to find out what's troubling her lover Jake Dancer. Middle-aging, old-shoe Nudger tails Dancer and manages to save him from a couple of strong-arm men. Dancerhandsome, feckless, an alcoholic and compulsive gambleris vague about the money he owes, and Nudger learns that Helen, working for an ``escort service,'' plans to move ``up'' to prostitution to help pay Dancer's debts. Then Dancer vanishes, Nudger's lover Claudia is abducted, and the story ends with the uncovering of a grisly, sadistic snuff-film operation. Readers may object to the slow pace, to Dancer's tiresome little-boy-lost routine and to a pat, if tangled, resolution. Nudger's preoccupation with buying a used car is stressed as much as his concern for Claudia, and, except for the Mississippi River as a dumping place for corpses, we don't get much St. Louis color. (March 22)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 222 pages - 978-1-61232-189-9
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