Libel the Dead

John Fink, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (247p) ISBN 978-0-312-07617-7
The author of The Leaf Boats and former editor of Chicago magazine wisely pens what he knows in this finely tuned, expertly plotted mystery centering around a threatened libel suit. Narrator Mike Lindenthal, executive editor of Beyond , a lifestyle magazine for ``readers whose interests and budgets went past the ordinary,'' assigns a piece on L.A. talk-show host Bangor Laudicek to writer Trilla McGuffy. Damage control is required when she accuses her subject of condoning drug use. Accompanied by the magazine's tough-talking, street-smart attorney Bob Struiker, Lindenthal leaves New York and flies west to meet wth McGuffy in hopes of getting a retraction and/or a letter of apology to appease the outraged Laudicek and his even more outraged wife, Pamela. Before long, Lindenthal finds himself hopelessly smitten with the writer even as he realizes that her former affair with Laudicek has undermined her objectivity. When the talk-show host turns up dead, McGuffy and Lindenthal contend with weightier charges than libel, and it is up to ever-savvy Struiker to keep a level head when romance prevents Lindenthal from seeing things clearly. Near pitch-perfect dialogue and a bitingly funny narrative voice carry events to their riveting conclusion. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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