Barking Dogs

R. R. Irvine, Author, Robert Irvine, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-312-10419-1
A writer who is alternately warm and cynical, but always knowing, Irvine departs from his series of Mormon mystery adventures featuring Moroni Traveler ( The Great Reminder , etc.) to introduce a new sleuthing team: maverick television producer Kevin Manwaring and tough reporter Vicki Garcia. The Latter Day Saints still haunt the storyline as the pair investigates an Idaho fire that wiped out the members of a Mormon offshoot group. The eyes of Kevin's bosses dilate with visions of big ratings after the discovery of charred bodies of children, but Kevin senses more. Many people were angry with the sect: the fire chief lost his wife to a cult member, and residents of the nearby town of Defiance resented the group's refusal to let a software company build a plant on its land or to sell badly needed water rights to the town. The clues are slight: a dog barking on a videotape, a drunken poet's rantings and Manwaring's instincts, which are not diminished by such distractions as the chaste (though regularly propositioned) Vicki, the charms of a pretty local animal doctor or his dreadful mother. Irvine, a former TV producer, gives his assorted media types nasty hearts and souls. Even the gutsy, gifted Kevin occasionally succumbs to sexist cretinism; only Vicki comes across as genuinely nice. Both are very welcome on the scene. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
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