Smugglers Notch

Joseph Koenig, Author Viking Books $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-82341-3
Tough cop nabs killer in order to avenge his partner's death, compensate for his own fatal blunder and redeem his honor. It's an all-too-familiar theme, but Koenig, known for well-crafted crime fiction ( Floater ; Little Odessa ), puts a spin on it. The setting is rural Vermont, and the hero, sheriff's lieutenant Larry St. Germain, is a big, brawling, lumberjack type. The novel opens with a brutal rape-murder; the victim is the teenage daughter of the state's attorney. St. Germain, who shares a log cabin with his ex-wife Annie whom he wants to remarry, bungles the arrest of sneering psychopath Paul Conklin. Resigning in disgrace, the lieutenant becomes an ambulance driver and settles down to life with Annie. Later the killer is put away but makes a prison break with a gang of thugs who go on a bloody rampage as they veer to the Canadian border. St. Germain hops into his ambulance and brings the action to a dramatic if predictable climax. Local color, authentic characters and gritty dialogue carry this snow-clad thriller. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 333 pages - 978-0-7927-0617-5
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