The Thousand Yard Stare

Rob Kantner, Author Crimeline $4.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-28928-2
Cigar-smoking Detroit PI Ben Perkins investigates a death ruled a suicide a quarter-century earlier in this engaging but unlikely crime story. While helping his high school sweetheart Janet Vento and lusted-after homecoming queen Stacie Hallthorn locate missing grads for a 25-year high school reunion, Ben learns Janet has a hidden agenda: she believes that her melancholy friend, Sara Gerbstadt, who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning in her garage after a graduation party, was murdered. Skeptical at first, Ben comes to accept Janet's hunch and interviews members of their senior-year circle: Fast Eddie Anger, once Sara's main squeeze and now a rock star; former nerd Richie Satterfield; troublemaker Don Triplett. He visits Sara's nosy neighbor, who recalls seeing a suspicious car on the night of the ``suicide,'' as well as Sara's senile and shockingly lecherous father. The characters' lucid memories of who hung out with whom at a party, not to mention Janet's lengthy wait before voicing her doubts about Sara's demise, create a certain unbelievability, but the pieces fall rather convincingly into place during an inventive, suspenseful denouement. Kantner wrote Made in Detroit. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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