The Alligator's Farewell

Hialeah Jackson, Author Dell Publishing Company $5.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-440-22660-4
Jackson, a pen name for Polly Whitney (Until It Hurts), skillfully captures the peculiarities of South Florida--from flashy Miami to the carefree Keys--and creates a perfect setting for adventure and an offbeat cast of characters. When officials of a nuclear facility label the mysterious death of one of their scientists a ""suicide,"" a private security company is brought in to investigate. The firm is run by the beautiful, hearing-impaired Annabelle Hardy-Maratos and her sidekick, a flamboyant Cuban nicknamed Dave the Monkeyman. Suspecting foul play, the pair's investigation leads them to a world of high-tech jewel theft, gambling and gun running. Out of their element, they resolve to find the truth despite being sabotaged at every turn by lying employees at the plant, inept security guards, bombs, two-headed cottonmouths, a greedy widow and a boxful of flying cockroaches. Jackson displays a knack for the unconventional, and her dialogue and characterizations (particularly of Dave the Monkeyman) are superb. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
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