Missing Man

Richard M. Stern, Author Pocket Books $3.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-671-65261-6
Stern's ( Death in the Snow ) popular half-Apache detective, Johnny Ortiz of the Santo Cristo, N.M., police, is back investigating another sordid murder. A seemingly harmless bird-watcher is buried under a rock slide caused by an strategically placed explosive, and the only clues are an envelope of salacious photos belonging to the victim and a set of footprints. Johnny is, as usual, undaunted, rejecting the open-and-shut case against a college professor with demolitions expertise and slowly reconstructing the crime with the aid of loyal friends and his Apache instincts. But many fans will mark Johnny's continued domestication with dismay. Once on the fringes, he and his beautiful girlfriend are here among Santo Cristo's elite. Perhaps not coincidentally, Stern is hard-pressed for fresh ways to describe Johnny's imputed fierceness, relying on commonplaces and even repeating the startling image of eyes that ``look like they're measuring you for staking out on an anthill.'' (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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