Casual Rex

Eric Garcia, Author Villard Books $23.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-679-46307-8
Vincent Rubio is your typical PI: He's single, drives a Lincoln, has trouble saying no to a good-looking woman and occasionally takes photos of unfaithful husbands with their mistresses for extra cash. The only things separating him from other hard-boiled private eyes are his tail, claws and reptilian hide. In this prequel to the popular Anonymous Rex, Garcia spins another comical scenario involving Vincent and a host of other dinosaurs who never became extinct and have integrated themselves into modern society by covering up with human-looking latex costumes. Once readers get over the initial oddness of the idea, a somewhat normal detective story materializes: Vincent and his partner, Ernie, are hired by Ernie's ex-wife (herself a T. Rex) to rescue her brother Rupert from a cult group he's become involved in. As they immerse themselves in Rupert's recovery, Vincent and Ernie learn more about the cult, a sort of heritage club for dinosaurs who call themselves the Progressives. Further investigation uncovers some shady doings, and the two detectives throw themselves headlong into an inquiry involving the Progressives and other young dinos who've been lured in like Rupert. Meanwhile, in a nutty side story, the dino-shamuses agree to help their landlord get back a certain human body part of his that his girlfriend stole. Garcia keeps the jokes coming, bordering on overwriting but coming out on top to present a tale that's slightly cornball, at times hilarious and unquestionably original--though not as original as the first novel and exuding a faint air of shtick. Agent, Barbara Zitwer. (Mar. ) Forecast: Fans of Garcia's first novel will enthusiastically gravitate to this follow-up, and the author's X-Files take on the classic detective tale will appeal to both mystery and SF readers. Here's a series with dino-sized legs.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-425-18339-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57511-088-2
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