August Ice

DeForest Day, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (313p) ISBN 978-0-312-03793-2
Day has drawn on a formula already old at the time of his first novel's setting, President Ford's brief tenure, to fashion his intrepid hero, Chase Defoe. Smelly and filthy after a solitary canoe trip, Chase arrives as a stranger in a Pennsylvania town, finds the body of another stranger, David Spencer, and is held on the murder charge. His credentials quickly established, as a former U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer, Defoe is free to investigate the murder and the killer's motive. Spencer had been asking questions about Ava Dixon, certified as accidentally drowned years earlier, in 1951. Now Defoe probes deeper: inquiring about rumors that Ava had been gang-raped by the town's then-young elite men and killed to ensure her silence. While pursuing suspects, Defoe falls in love, adding the novel's requisite romance and predictable menace to the enamored couple. Virtue triumphs at last, after many plot convolutions so dated that they make the thriller almost quaint. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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