Rainy North Woods

Vincent Kohler, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-312-03918-9
Kohler, a reporter in Oregon, makes a resounding debut with this raffish, comic, fearsome melodrama. Eldon Larkin and Shelly Sherwood cover events for a scandal sheet in damp Port Jerome on the Northwest coast. Hearing that Hector the elephant has crushed to death a Vietnamese immigrant named Xuan, go-getter Shelley and the less driven but smitten Eldon rush in for the story. The reporters meet Mr. Pugh, a dotty old man building a tower to guide UFOs on a hillside near a community of Vietnamese refugees. As rumors of a human agent behind the fatal tromping circulate, so does talk about other cases of murder, spurring Eldon to defy his less-than-macho instincts. He is only a step behind Shelly as they play their roles among the large, eclectic crew the author controls like a ringmaster under the Big Top. Hector, who pays a ghastly price for killing Xuan, Big Foot, appearing in person, and Pugh's alien visitors are among other implausible but convincing marvels that decide the outcome of Kohler's crackerjack tale. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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