Fans of the three previous novels about California private eye Fiddler (Just Another Day in Paradise et al.) will probably overlook some rehashing of earlier adventures here, but new readers may balk. The day that narrator Fiddler becomes aware that he is under surveillance, he also hears of the death of Aaron Sharp, a border agent who'd once saved his life. Having received a message that Sharp's death wasn't accidental, Fiddler heads for the California-Mexico border. Fiddler's ex-wife and current live-in lover Fiora is trying to take over an Orange County investment bank and is very unhappy at his exposure to danger. Before he knows it, Fiddler is hip-deep in a racket that smuggles aliens across the border, and he learns that he and Fiora are next on a mysterious hit list. Eventually, he discovers that it's all part of a plot by charming, ruthless Russian agent Volker (Fiddler's old nemesis and Fiora's ex-lover) to take over the bank so that the Soviets will have an insider view of California and U.S. high-tech firms. While the action is fast-paced, the plot seems padded. Some interesting characters appear (a rich widow is wonderfully vulgar), but Fiddler's charm wears thin with sentimentality. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988 Release date: 04/01/1988 Genre: Nonfiction
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