The Episode

Richard Pollak, Author, Richard Pollack, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (314p) ISBN 978-0-453-00517-3
Retrograde amnesia, the blank zone in which bloody events occur, is a venerable device in mysteries. The amnesiac here is the hero, Daniel Cooper, investigative reporter for a muckraking New York City weekly improbably named Tabula Rasa. His epilepsy is a carefully kept secret, even from his girlfriend Kate Bernstein. In the course of exposing the infamies of a real estate empire engaged in gentrifying the Upper West Side, Daniel befriends an idealistic black lawyer, Calhoun Bledsoe; and when a building superintendent is murdered, Calhoun disappears. Most inopportunely, Daniel finds the murder weapon in his laundry hamper, then discovers Calhoun's corpse in a drug-filled Brooklyn basement. Daniel couldn't have committed such foul deeds, but who knows for certain what he might have done in a state of seizure-induced amnesia? Is he the victim of a many-tentacled conspiracy? That the Cathedral of St. John the Divine should provide the setting for unraveling the mystery seems fitting in this somewhat overly clever, topical, socially conscious first novel. (September 19)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-451-14876-6
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