The Lost World

Edwin McDowell, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-312-02301-0
Grittily realistic local color adds credibility and interest to this well constructed, suspenseful tale. Alex Shaw, like the author ( To Keep Our Honor Clean ) a New York journalist, covers the Times Square area, and one day is approached by a young hoodlum nicknamed ``Dingo,'' teenage son of an aging hooker, who lives on the streets. Dingo wants Alex to help an aged black preacher from Tennessee who has come to Manhattan to search for his grandson. As his trust in Alex increases, Dingo agrees to divulge the inner workings of this corner of Hades-on-Hudson in exchange for cigarettes and change. Alex's righteous anger about the horrific welfare hotels and the vile barter in bodies and drugs is well-founded. What he learns from Dingo about respectable businessmen who prey on the bodies of young boys and girls may not be news to the reader, nor is McDowell's theory, promulgated through Alex, of intentional neglect by real-estate moguls eager to make bucks once the area becomes completely desolate. But his mix of scrofulous lowlifes and crusty journalists is authentic, and the novel is suspenseful, funny and sometimes surprisingly tender. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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