Brainfade

Peter Barthelme, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-312-02879-4
Beaumont, a self-described fallen hero of the advertising industry, tangles with a demented psychiatrist in Barthelme's third series thriller (after Tart, with a Silken Finish ). After meeting Melissa Stone, head of a Houston psychiatric clinic, Beaumont is only too eager to start work on a PR campaign to bring her new clients: Dr. Stone is six feet of overpowering woman, and an irresistible temptation to the impressionable Beaumont. There's also the chance that she may be able to cure Beaumont's anorectic girlfriend, Tammy. But Tammy vanishes--and Stone, it appears, is both crazy and dangerous, as Beaumont discovers when he becomes a prisoner in deadly danger of losing his sanity as a result of pharmacological torture. Barthelme's hero is reminiscent of John D. MacDonald's redoubtable Travis McGee--quixotic, beat-up and inclined to go to the dogs, but always pulling himself together in the nick of time. However, this new mystery, albeit a fast and entertaining read, lacks the originality of previous volumes. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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