Dirty Money

Marc Davis, Author Dell Publishing Company $4.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-440-21064-1
Davis's debut is good hardboiled entertainment. The trading ``pit'' at the Chicago Board of Trade is just the place for a hard-living risk-taker like Abel ``Nocky'' Nockerman--or at least it was, until somebody put a bullet into him up close, execution-style. His ex-wife, convinced that the police's investigation will be neither fast nor thorough enough to suit her, brings in Frank Wolf, a PI and gambling addict who grew up with Nocky. Tina, Nocky's devoted daughter, found the body, but not even the police consider her a suspect. She takes an immediate and intense liking to Frank, and her persistent attentions persuade the PI to overlook his rule about not fraternizing with clients. Frank soon learns that his childhood chum was not universally liked but that traders were more apt to blacklist a ``mega-putz'' like Nocky than murder him. At home in the trading milieu, Davis skillfully manipulates setting and the characters who inhabit it to increase tension. The case waxes complicated: the gun that took out Nocky is used on two Chicagoans--a banker whose corpse is discovered in California and a computer expert who is bumped off in New Mexico--and Frank realizes that Nocky's family is hiding information. But when Frank's chosen horse doesn't win the seventh at Arlington and he can't pay his bookie, the situation becomes decidedly disagreeable. Davis plays fair with clues, but gives both Frank and the reader chances to go astray. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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