Peterbilt to Laredo

Jim Shaffer, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (209p) ISBN 978-0-312-02629-5
Readers of this debut mystery will learn a lot about the trucking industry, much of it fascinating, but on the way they'll become better acquainted than they might like with a thoroughgoing loser, truck driver Crawley Tibbs from Ocilla, Ga. Down on his luck, Tibbs begs a job with Greenhaul Trucking, and through a fluke, gets to drive the company's brand new Peterbilt, the Rolls-Royce of trucks. He's given a four-day deadline in which to drive from Pompano, Fla., to St. Louis and Chicago and back to Miami. En route, Tibbs stops off at home to find his wife has left him. Later he learns that his girlfriend, Maybelline, has taken up with a woman. On the way back from Chicago, he meets waitress Thelma, whom he beds, forgetting his deadline in Miami. Since he's now blown any chance of a permanent job, Tibbs decides to take off with the truck and its cargo of TVs for Mexico. And that's just the beginning of his follies and troubles. Shaffer brings a good, gritty feel to the details of life on the road and in trucks, and a comic turn to his presentation of the hapless, less than appealing protagonist. ( Feb. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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