The Burning Season

Wayne D. Dundee, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (241p) ISBN 978-0-312-01743-9
The publisher of Hardboiled magazine has written a nicely hardboiled first novel of his own. Private eye Joe Hannibal travels downstate from Rockford, Ill., to nab armed-robbery suspect and bail-jumper Junior Odum after Odum's mother's funeral. In one of two major plot flaws, narrator Hannibal is convinced to leave Odum at liberty for 48 hours while Hannibal investigates the ""accidental'' death by fire of Mrs. Odum. She'd been resisting selling her home to the county's biggest employer, a toy factory, and the factory owner had threatened to relocate his business outside the county. Hannibal contends with some local hostility (two nasty drunks) and a little hospitality (the factory owner's beautiful sister), and seems to be getting nowhere until the murder of a local ``loose woman'' starts to break the case. There's a second glaring unlikely event at the end, but Edgar nominee Dundee creates vivid characters and a sense of place, mixes them nicely and delivers a solid performance. Joe Hannibal himself is quite engaging. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20717-7
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