Cold Night

Al Sarrantonio, Author Tor Books $14.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-312-93147-6
Sarrantonio's mystery debut suggests the influence of Ross MacDonald's moody private eye Lou Archer, but his story is original in concept and execution. The new investigator, Jack Paine, is battling alcoholism after a troubled youth, and his current case makes the struggle harder. Calling for an envelope as instructed by a phone call from a client, Morris Grumbach, Paine finds Grumbach dead, an apparent suicide. He has left photos of three men for the detective, slim clues to deeply buried crimes. Paine drives from Manhattan to the tonier suburbs, questioning Grumbach's daughters and his lawyer, but always running into stone walls. When the investigator falls in love with one daughter, Rebecca, he tries harder to gather evidence of incredible acts and to save Rebecca and himself as they're stalked by killers, intent on keeping scandal from ruining their sneaky games. Thriller fans should like Jack Paine a lot, and await more stories about the appealing detective. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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