Out of the Shadows

Edward Mathis, Author Scribner Book Company $17.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-684-19038-9
Mathis's sixth Dan Roman ( The Burned Woman , etc.) story blends some classic hardboiled elements, notably a tangled family-sprung plot, with its hero's new-style male sensitivity. Texas-based private eye Roman is hired by rich, middle-aged Phillip Arganian to find his 28-year-old sister, Loretta, who ran away from home 12 years before. Although the trail is long and cold, leading to California, Las Vegas, Tennessee and back to Texas, Roman is persuaded by Arganian's blind old mother and his beautiful young wife, Lee (who tries to seduce Roman), to stay on the case. He uncovers a long trail of Loretta's lovers of both sexes. While apparently ending with Loretta's death, the story explodes in a bloody aftermath to a family's lifelong deceit and ignorance. Roman, facing danger with traditional boozing and chain-smoking, has stolid appeal, even though his try at reconciliation with his own young wife is sappy. Readers who miss Ross Macdonald will like this. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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