Wilcox's latest California thriller marks the debut of actor-playwright Alan Bernhardt of San Francisco as a freelance private eye. A rehearsaland his flirtation with new cast member Pamela Brettis interrupted by a message from Hubert Dancer, head of the detective agency that gives the actor outside jobs. Accepting a supposedly brief assignment, Bernhardt leaves town to trace Betty Fields, missing from her post as art consultant to a corporation of venture capitalists. The firm has hired Dancer's agency to find Betty and her lover, Nick Ames, but after doing so and reporting back to Dancer, Bernhardt is outraged to hear that Ames has been stalked and murdered. He breaks with Dancer, going off on his own to find the fugitive again before she also is ``neutralized.'' Betty knows that her life is endangered by the real power behind her corporate employer, reclusive, amoral billionaire Daniel DuBois, who is determined to prevent her from exposing his guilty secrets. When Bernhardt catches up with Betty a second time, the professional killer makes a move that creates the story's stunning climax. This is a remarkably well-handled mystery with strong characters. Readers will want more tales of the thespian and Pamela, his new romantic lead. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988 Release date: 06/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
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