The Game Show Killer

William Harrington, Author Forge $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-86178-0
Everyman's detective is just as dogged as ever in his pursuit of justice. Grant Kellogg, the most successful defense attorney in L.A., comes to the annoying realization that a million dollars doesn't go as far as it used to. In fact, after his last acquittal, it's the defendant who inks a book contract and makes out like a bandit. So Kellogg decides to build his own trial of the century--but this time, he'll have a piece of the action. Six years earlier, game-show hostess Erika Bjorling's daughter, Tammy, was kidnapped and murdered and the culprit was never found. The glamorous Bjorling is now hurting for money. Sharklike, Kellogg tells her the killer was Tammy's father, beloved western star Tim Wylie, whose indiscretions have been one of Hollywood's best-kept secrets. Next, Kellogg tells her his plan: she kills Wylie, gets caught, goes to trial, is defended by Kellogg and acquitted, after which the two of them clean up on a book deal and some pay-per-view. As it turns out, Columbo is the steepest slope of all in this lightning-fast read. Still clad in his rumpled raincoat, still endearing and untroubled, he takes on greed and cynicism in his droopy, inimitable way. The prose is thin--Harrington doesn't waste time on complex characterizations--and there's barely a whiff of suspense, but readers will come away as satisfied as the tourists who gather to watch Old Faithful spout. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 224 pages - 978-0-8125-5080-1
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-0-7838-8595-7
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