A Special Kind of Nightmare

Paul Geddes, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-03025-4
When fat, clever, unlikely hero Ludovic Fender says to an aged aunt, ``Surely to you I've always been an open book,'' she replies, ``Written in a very peculiar language''--and she's right. Geddes ( Hangman ) here brings Fender back from rustication to straighten out a scandal in the British Central Crimes Bureau. The bureau, mandated to ferret out corruption, is headed by Antrim, who has suspicious ties to a ruthless tycoon and may also have a taste for kinky sex. The book begins with the seemingly unconnected deaths of a call girl in a car crash, and of an Irish Republican minister from AIDS. Treading warily, Fender brilliantly pulls together diverse strands, including a faked suicide, some actual and possible murders and deeds of lethal ambition at Ministerial levels. The rum, believable lot of characters, high level of wit (``A politician fondling his conscience in public is the ultimate indecency'') and hints of future adventures for Fender take some of the sting out of the cynical ending. Ludovic Fender is a wonderful creation and this is a sophisticated, satisfying treat. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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