Merry Christmas, Murdock

Robert Joseph Ray, Author Delacorte Press $16.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-385-29832-2
In Ray's fourth Murdock novel, teenager Heather Blasingame is comatose after a hit-and-run ``accident'' at a glitzy California shopping mall. Her mother, a Texas state senator, gets no satisfaction from local police and hires the semi-scruffy Murdock to dig into a possible coverup. Murdock also helps poor-little-rich-girl Cindy of the powerful Duke family to find her missing father. Uncovering a connection between these cases, and also Cindy's uncle's penchant for child molestation, Murdock is threatened, his house is torched and one of the girls is murdered. (He also has a fling with ``Senator Jane.'') The body count is high at the melodramatic end after we meet a Mafia don, Murdock's flashy Vietnam-vet buddy Blazer and the tough, not unsympathetic Duke patriarch. Hard-boiled, soft-centered Murdock approaches sentimentality and some characters are shallow but Ray ( The Hit Man Cometh ) keeps the story moving smoothly. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20778-8
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