Cruel April: A Dave Garrett Mystery

Neil Albert, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-525-93719-7
The fourth calendar adventure (coming after Burning March) for Philadelphia PI Dave Garrett is a page-turner throughout. Echoing the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, the tale leads the appealing, tender-hearted Garrett, a disbarred lawyer, through hell, Pennsylvania style. He's searching for lovely, red-haired Kate, who was supposed to leave her drunken brute of a husband in Miami and join the PI, her new lover, in Philadelphia. When Kate's bags arrive but she doesn't, Garrett starts a search that takes him from economically devastated Chester, in eastern Pennsylvania, where the streets are empty round the clock, to the sparsely settled wilds of the central part of the state. Convinced that Kate will perish if he falls asleep, Dave keeps popping amphetamines and drinking coffee. On the way to the final twist, six people die, Garrett survives assorted attempts on his life, including one from a Colombian drug pusher armed with an M-16. Motivation is a little weak, but effective settings and action and a neat resolution provide first-rate entertainment. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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