The Cold Smell of Sacred Stone

George C. Chesbro, Author Atheneum Books $0 (297p) ISBN 978-0-689-11913-2
Readers who enjoyed the first adventures (Shadow of a Broken Man, City of Whispering Stone) of professor Robert ""Mongo'' FredericksonPh.D. criminologist, ex-circus stuntman, dwarf and private eyemay be less than enchanted here. In a decade, Chesbro's style has changed from crisp and medium-boiled to garish, and his plot is replete with talky comic-book stunts. Mongo's brother Garth, in a comatose state because of a rare drug injected by mad scientist Siegmund Loge, seems to make a dramatic recovery in a top-secret government sanatorium. But Garth soon attracts a following that is convinced he's the Messiah. When Mongo is attacked by mysterious forces, Garth escapes with a homicidal maniac and surfaces in New York, heading a cult m that cares for the needy in an abandoned bathhouse. Determined to bring Garth back to reality, Mongo investigates the movement. A violent climax occurs on Christmas Eve, when all are threatened by murderous KGB agents. Only Chesbro's smooth writing saves this from total inanity, but the talkabout love, mankind and other heavy subjectsseems endless. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20394-0
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