Last Man Out: 2a Novel of Suspense

Donald Honig, Author Dutton Books $19 (240p) ISBN 978-0-525-93663-3
Baseball historian Honig ( The Man in the Dugout ) returns to the mystery novel with this followup to last year's The Plot to Kill Jackie Robinson. Sportswriter Joe Tinker is back again, investigating the murder of a wealthy socialite and her maid in which the prime suspect is a Brooklyn Dodger. The new book is actually a prequel, set in 1946 (the year before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier), with the former Marine Tinker just a few months back from the Pacific. Perhaps that's why he seems a little more serious and less of a wiseguy this time around, a change that is all to the good. The homicide brings Tinker into contact with the seamy underside of New York society, and Honig creates a nicely believable set of potential suspects, although the denouement, while satisfying, doesn't call for much real sleuthing. And credibility is getting to be a problem in this series: the first installment had an excellent peg for a baseball setting, but in this one only the identity of the chief suspect gets Tinker involved in the case. However, his mastery of the genre is improving and his hero is appealing enough so that one hopes in future books the sportswriter will be given a little more detective work. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-451-18300-2
Hardcover - 300 pages - 978-0-7089-5804-9
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