In the second outing of likable reporter Rick Decker (last seen in The Serpentine Wall ), Cincinnati, Ohio, seems about to fall prey to a deadly epidemic. When an Arizone Indian dies of bubonic plague outside a shelter for the homeless, a former brewery soon to be the site of a $600-million redevelopment project, the city fathers are understandably dismayed. But Decker finds out that the victim had not actually entered the shelter before his death, and he and sidekick Angie Lapola suspect that the men behind the redevelopment scheme may be creating the epidemic scare. It turns out that the health commissioner owns properties in the blighted redevelopment area, but he seems genuinely determined to thwart the spread of the plague, even as more homeless people die of the disease along the rat-infested riverfront. Then Decker learns that the first victim had actually died in an abandoned subway tunnel, and his body secretly moved to the shelter. Hoping to prove that there is a sewer line tying the tunnels to the former brewery, Decker takes a daunting hike into the gloomy underworld, where a very unpleasant surprise lies in wait. DeBrosse's portrait of newsroom life is dead-on, and his characters are depicted with humanity and humor. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991 Release date: 11/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
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