Rough Red

Martin Sylvester, Author Villard Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57687-9
Middle-aged English wine merchant William Warner, previously seen in A Lethal Vintage , plays the sleuth again in this pedestrian mystery-thriller. On vacation in Southern France with his wife and children, Warner agrees to help Alex and Sheila Gordon, also on holiday there, in finding their teenage daughter, Cathy, who has been abducted. Warner surmises that a neighbor of the Gordons' summer home in Spain is responsible for the kidnapping. Anticipating a simple solution to the girl's disappearance, he drives down to Barcelona to search for Cathy, at the same time arranging to meet his mistress, Ginny Duff-Jones. But things turn out to be not so simple in Spain; besides discovering that the missing girl had been sexually abused by her father, Warner stirs up trouble with Catalan separatists and a thuggish British expatriate gangster. Though the local color is diverting, the plot is predictable and the denouement a washout. Warner is sexist, racist, unsympathetic and inconsistent--at times he refers to his French-born spouse as ``my beautiful dutiful wife,'' elsewhere as ``my Frog.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 553 pages - 978-0-7089-2354-2
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