Crime Scene at ""O"" Street

Paul W. Valentine, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-312-02563-2
Marked by vivid characters too carefully arranged, who speak distinctively but at too great length, this first novel also features an intricate plot too obviously spelled out. Two homicide cops in Washington, D.C., with no love lost between them, are paired to investigate the murder of a mid-level government bureaucrat. Magnus Johnson is black, a grieving widower and something of an intellectual; Dewey Hudlow is a transplanted redneck with a heart of gold--a gross and noble savage. Together they trace a path from the victim's Dupont Circle apartment back through the capital's inner city and deep into the Alabama hills, where they discover an inbred Tantric cult with enough accumulated wealth to fund arms deals. Side-plots and emotional entanglements flesh out the plot's complex skeleton, compensating for the author's predilection to pre-arrange and over-explain. Overall, an ambitious effort of considerable achievement and much promise. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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