Simeon Grist, seen before in The Four Last Things , is an up-to-date private eye, a hip survivor of the Woodstock Generation bemused by current L.A. life. He's also a bit seedy, drinking too much and backsliding into cigarette smoking, with a wry outlook and heart of gold that keep him squarely in the hardboiled Hammett-Chandler tradition. Hired to find a 13-year-old runaway who left Kansas to become a Hollywood star, Simeon soon finds himself mired in L.A.'s seamy underworld of teenage hustlers, pimps and all-around losers. Using as decoys his teenage godchild Jessica and a young computer whiz smitten by her, Simeon uncovers a vast interstate ring involving a talent agency, a bent cop and high-tech kiddy-sex. While providing a nasty new meaning for a computer ``menu'' and some scenes not for the squeamish, Hallinan employs skillful pacing, L.A. color and Simeon's attractive persona to grip readers right through the gory climax and somewhat reassuring ending. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990 Release date: 04/01/1990 Genre:
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