Tough Baby

Jesse Sublett, Author Viking Books $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-83325-2
Martin Fender, the sleuthing bass player seen in Rock Critic Murders , is back in a sequel that reads well but doesn't match the tension of Sublett's first. Upon returning to Austin, Tex., after a grueling road trip with his band, Fender downs a drugged drink at a late-night party. Next morning, with little memory of the night before, he finds himself suspected of attempted murder; the woman he picked up at the party, Retha Thomas, a detective, has been bludgeoned to near-death with Fender's guitar. Fender suspects a couple of Austin lowlifes she had mentioned--music personalities whom Fender knows. When he questions them, they first stonewall but then hire him to make a blackmail payoff, leading Fender to a Mexican gangster who has some secrets he'll protect at any cost. Payola, perversion and a pounding rock beat power this nicely drawn but relatively mainstream mystery. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-14-012397-5
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