Figure of Eight

Patrick Lynch, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-94510-9
Pete Golding, the private investigator protagonist of Lynch's (The Policy) latest thriller, has a reputation for being a little too intense. He recently gunned down a stalker who was bent on slicing up a starlet, and though he garnered major PR for his Hollywood firm, his boss hesitates, for a moment, to put lethal Pete on a new case. Ellen Cusak, a former World Champion ice-skater and media darling, is supposedly being stalked, but ever since she and her famous actor husband were divorced after trying unsuccessfully to have a child, her popularity has suffered, and she may just be trying to attract publicity for her soon-to-be published biography. It's Cusak's agent who insists that Pete is the man to protect his client. Pete, a Cusak fan for years, takes the case, falls for Ellen and soon narrows in on a suspect, but the stalker ups the ante by sending Ellen a video of a child who looks just like her. The video is leaked to the media, and speculation about whether Ellen might have had a daughter and abandoned her freezes endorsement and book deals and costs Ellen coaching clients. When a friend of Ellen's spills a secret of Pete's, Ellen dismisses the investigator, but Pete can't cut loose and stalks the stalker with renewed intensity, his heart on his sleeve and his gun in his shoulder holster. After a revelation involving fertility clinic shenanigans, the creepy finale is replete with explosions and gore. Lynch has a talent for suspense tinged with horror and this fast-paced ride appeals in spite of stock characters. Pete Golding's quirks--a macho lug with a yen for figure skating?--and an inventive minor cast add zest to the tale. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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