Return to Sender

Dick Cluster, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-525-24690-9
In this appealingly quirky mystery debut, Alex Glauberman is not your everyday hero: he's a Jewish mechanic who repairs German cars. He also has nodular lymphoma, a form of cancer, which is currently in remission, but the treatment causes violent mood swings. At the post office one day, a stranger asks Alex to mail a package to Germany, then leaves abruptly. Intrigued by the man's mysterious behavior, more than a little high from the medication, Alex follows his own ``curious, romantic feeling that fate had just beckoned in his direction.'' Ingeniously, he sets up a meeting with ``G. Meyer''the sender's name on the parcelwho proposes that Alex travel to Germany, via London, to retrieve the package from Meyer's estranged, half-Jewish, half-German daughter. Alex temporizes, but when he finds Meyer's body in an alley and receives the dead man's posthumous payment, he feels morally bound to Meyer's request. Despite threats from unknown enemies and warnings from friends, Alex recklessly pursues the clues that Meyer inadvertently gave him. Cluster's evident knowledge of the locales (Boston, London, Berlin) and his engagingly offbeat characters mark him as a writer to watch. (October)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-14-012784-3
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