Riceburner

Richard Hyer, Author Scribner Book Company $16.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-684-18727-3
This skillful first novel, a thriller,is marked by seemingly effortless plotting, characterization and tone. Harry Dane, industrial-security man in his mid-30s, is invited to dinner by his ex-girlfriend Cheryl, who is ""in high-tech'' in Silicon Valley but is in Chicago for the weekend. They meet at a small Vietnamese restaurant, and Harry is almost killed when the place is rocked by an explosion. The brother of Cheryl's new fiance is killed, however, and Harry is for a time the chief suspect, because he currently works for a mining company that uses high explosives. He's cleared but remains confused by Cheryl's allegations that he was jealous of the dead man, another of her ex-lovers. Investigating further, Harry is soon involved with a shady real estate agent, a hilariously ungrammatical G-man, inscrutable Orientals, lethal punks and the puzzling Cheryl and her violent, boozy boyfriend. Readers may discern the ultimate villain before the ending but Hyer's debut is notable nonetheless. (September 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7432-1067-6
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