Zoo

Emma Lathen, Author, Josh Fine, Author, Lapavitsas Fine, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-312-17019-6
Lathen's long-running series featuring Wall Street investment banker John Putnam Thatcher (Brewing Up a Storm, 1996, etc.) is notable for its combination of murder and the arcane mysteries of high finance. Here, Thatcher brings his considerable analytical skills to post-Cold War Europe. A night of crippling fog causes countless collisions and oil spills in Germany's Kiel Canal. The disaster brings the fledgling Baltic Area Development Association, an international organization known as BADA based in Gdansk, Poland, to world prominence as a clearinghouse for all Kiel-related insurance claims. Tension is running high as self-interested BADA delegates meet to survey the damage and consider Germany's proposal to seek international financing to enlarge the canal. Back in Gdansk, the organization's chief of staff, Stefan Zabriski, claims he has discovered fraud at BADA; a short time later, his battered body is found in BADA's parking lot. Investigating the murder is Polish police detective Oblonski, who treats all of the delegates as suspects. Meanwhile, two eco-terrorist groups claim responsibility for the Kiel disaster. Then Zabriski's secretary, who was also his lover, is murdered. Oblonski, admitting that he is out of his depth when it comes to the intricacies of international finance, relies heavily on Thatcher for guidance. The pseudonymous pair who write as Lathen have enlivened their latest cerebral puzzle with a satiric take on international organizations and a comic portrait of Poland adapting to capitalism. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1970
Release date: 08/01/1958
Hardcover - 293 pages - 978-0-312-17018-9
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-0259-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 328 pages - 978-0-06-104460-1
Hardcover - 367 pages - 978-0-7838-8357-1
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