September Song

Edward Mathis, Author Scribner Book Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19262-8
Although Mathis ( The Burned Woman ) takes only partial advantage of colorful Texas vernacular--allowing the dialogue to verge on insipidity--PI Dan Roman still does a stand-up job of solving his seventh mystery. Roman never stopped loving his exwife, Susie, who had an affair with and now is married to Jack Farley, the son of Roman's Vietnam crew chief. Roman tries to protect Susie when she complains of being followed, shot at and threatened by Dalton Wagerman and his boy, who both served time for raping the Wagerman daughter. But Roman's intervention infuriates Farley, who seethes, ``You had your time with her, and now she's mine.'' Roman, undeterred, investigates, and is assaulted by persons unknown as well as by the Wagermans. Not until a Texas-style showdown near the end of the story is the Wagermans' problem with Susie fully explained, and both sides prove to have been framed. A strong mini-mystery unfolds; however, the fine, genuinely surprising conclusion is at odds with the tedious melodrama, much of which centers on Roman and Susie as they rekindle their former ardor. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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