The Cheerio Killings

Doug Allyn, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-312-03302-6
In this surprising, uncompromising first novel, ``cowboy'' cop Lupe Garcia (with a rep for violence and no regard for the proper channels) investigates the throat-slashing murders of several women in the Detroit area. Under pressure to make an arrest, Garcia pegs guitar-playing redneck Lamont Yarborough as the killer, for a variety of insufficient reasons. While amassing evidence, Garcia pursues his romantic interest in Linda Kerry, a reporter with the Detroit Free Press who's working on a story about Yarborough--by whom she's both intrigued and frightened. After Yarborough disarms a gun-wielding madman in the presence of press and upper-echelon police, Garcia is told to investigate other possible suspects, and when he complains, is accused of conflict of interests: e.g., jealousy over Kerry. Hairpin twists add to an already solid plot. Allyn displays a flair for gritty, colloquial dialogue, a heartfelt love for music and its late-night, honky-tonk environment, and a talent for making even the most incidental characters flesh-and-blood originals. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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