A California PI himself, Kennealy ( Polo Solo ) captures some of the classic Hammett/Ross Macdonald spirit in the eighth Nick Polo case, a tale of greed, ambition, nasty sex, blackmail and murder in a rich California family with lots of dark secrets. With his girlfriend, reporter Jane Tobin, Polo is attending the opening of Baroni Estates' grand new winery when he is summoned to meet Angelo Baroni Sr. Wheelchair-bound and with a womanizing son about to be divorced for the third time, the elder Baroni suspects that someone is trying to destroy his winemaking empire. His worries are soon given credibility when an explosion levels the new facility. Polo's investigation opens a can of worms, the nastiest involving a pedophilic, gambling mobster. Two murders and an accidental drowning lead to a lethal duel between Polo and the mob figure, followed by a leisurely explication of tangled relationships and a somewhat ambiguous but satisfying resolution. Polo, whose lawyer is named Collin Wilcox (after another noted mystery writer), and Tobin engage in some too-cute dialogue, but Kennealy moves the plot briskly and deftly lays out his puzzles. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/1993 Release date: 12/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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