Emerald Lizard: A Neal Rafferty Mystery

Chris Wiltz, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-525-24945-0
In his third appearance, two facts help likable, savvy New Orleans private eye Neal Rafferty solve this fast-paced, baffling mystery: 1) during recent hard times in the Louisiana oil patch, shylocks were charging 50% interest; and 2) before the ban on commercial fishing of redfish, the price was soaring in response to the national craze for the blackened delicacy. Against this background, promiscuous, manipulative Jackie Silva is killed and her Emerald Lizard lounge in seedy Westwego, a West Bank suburb unvisited by tourists, is torched. Jackie had complained that fisherman-mobster Bubba Brevna was threatening to have her tongue cut out unless she coughed up some of the money she owed him. Just kidding, Brevna tells Rafferty, but the investigator, who lost his virginity to Jackie at age 16, targets him and other swains of Jackie, not neglecting Brevna's hulking, moronic nephew, nicknamed Godzilla by the string of whores he runs for his uncle. Wiltz ( A Diamond Before You Die ) brings a story suffused with love for her hometown to a smashing, stormy climax. More, please. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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