A Carrot for the Donkey

Les Roberts, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-312-02554-0
Sex and exploitation are the same at the top and the bottom in this private-eye tale that moves from Hollywood to Laguna Beach to Tijuana. Private eye and semi-successful actor Saxon--the lack of further identification is a tiresome affectation--takes on the search for the missing daughter of wildly successful producer Mark Evering for the cash, which is always useful, and for the promise of a role in his next production. Unable to resist the bait, Saxon follows the trail of lost and dissolute Merissa Evering and her shady lawyer lover Martin Swaner down the California coast to Mexico. In Tijuana, Saxon finds no sign of Merissa but does find himself suspected of Swaner's murder. He falls in love with a beautiful woman who turns out to be married to a local gang boss. A local bullfighter hero and another murder lead to the denouement. The terrible cruelties inflicted by ``arrangers'' on Mexicans trying to cross the border illegally provide a social consciousness but an oddly distant motive. Roberts ( Not Enough Horses ) evokes a corrupt Hollywood and a (possibly) more corrupt Mexico, but no real sense of happening and place; Saxon is as detached from life as from his first name. ( Apr .)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 238 pages - 978-1-930916-31-9
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