The Late Candidate

Mike Phillips, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-312-04866-2
This adept but disturbing mystery marks the second appearance of black journalist Sampson Dean ( On Blood Rites ). London councillor Aston Edwards, a successful black politician, is found murdered, and Dean, a friend of both the victim and the accused killer, is asked to exonerate the latter. The accused, a black teenager, was having an affair with the victim's white wife. The romance, which had generated enmity within the upscale London community, already disapproving of the interracial marriage, adds to the long list of Edwards's enemies and murder suspects. Topping off this list, Dean learns, are the corrupt politicos whom the late councillor planned to entrap in a sting operation. When Dean's helpmate, an ambitious political activist, turns up dead, the police write it off as suicide, but Dean follows a hunch that the two deaths are related. His investigation leads him back to boyhood haunts and into political intrigue. Although Phillips supplies a thrilling surprise ending, his hero's compulsive seduction of white women seems gratuitious and often hampers the plot. In addition, Phillips's points about racism in England are muddled and superficial. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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