The shades of Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald would be disturbed that their names, in Thomas Chastain's introduction to this collection, are taken in vain. Macdonald's is even misspelled, a foretaste of the eight stories that lack bite, intelligent plotting and color. Hollywood, Malibu, Venice and the sprawling city are invoked only dimly, and almost every character is a cardboard cut-out we've met before. Fans of the classics and new readers should be warned away from this bottom-drawer collection. Classicists will be offended and newcomers will be baffled. Gault's ""The Kerman Kill'' and Russell's ``Dong-Dong, The Lizard's Dead'' offer the only hope, but even they fizzle out. Fox's ``Return to Venice'' and Henderson's ``Dream House'' are hopelessly old-fashioned, the latter featuring a threatened heroine who'd have been a cliche 30 years ago. The other stories are only silly. 75,000 first printing. (February 23)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1987 Release date: 02/01/1987 Genre: Fiction
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