Whisper

William Leonard Marshall, Author Viking Books $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81959-1
In quick-cut, cinematic style, Marshall begins his second Manila Bay mystery at Feliciano's Faith Healing House, where psychic dentistry is a specialty. While pulling a woman's tooth, Benigno Feliciano is shot by a man who comes in off the street. The killer then turns the gun on himself, begging a nearby TV crew to film his death. When the deeds are done, a chorus of hymm-singing believers applauds before quietly dispersing. At the Gnome Home Acrobatic and One Ring Circus Cafe, which boasts Coffee, Meals and Entertainment Three Times a Day, two policemen from Nanila Metro are investigating the need to place the 11 dwarves who own the establishment under special protection. Additional violent killings lead Lt. Felix Elizalde to suspect an international skeleton-supplying ring; but after the dwarves at the Gnome House turn on their protectors, Felix begins to understand that events are related in a web more dangerous and complicated than he could have imagined. The eccentric characters and the repetitive, rapid-fire dialogue (involving extensive capitalization) seem out of keeping with the story's emphasis on the powerlessness of the poor, the plot's roots in the callous brutality of an old covert CIA operation, and the explosively apocalyptic resolution. Author also of the Yellowthread Street mysteries, Marshall has conceived a compelling and psychologically credible thriller, but the staccato delivery weakens its punch. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-14-778437-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-14-010531-5
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