Dangerous Games: A Jack Liffey Mystery

John Shannon, Author . Carroll & Graf/Penzler $25 (248p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1543-5

When an aimless shot from a car full of teens strikes Jack Liffey's 16-year-old daughter, Maeve, the professional child finder has no intention of allowing justice to follow its aimless course in Shannon's lively eighth series mystery (after 2004's Terminal Island ). Gloria Ramirez, the policewoman with whom Liffey lives in East Los Angeles's Boyle Heights, tries to distract him by arranging to have him hired to look for her hopelessly naïve niece, Luisa Wilson, who's disappeared and believed headed for L.A.'s porn factories. Shannon nails bizarre characters like two shady filmmakers, Kenyon Styles and Rod Whipple, who dream of hitting the big money by filming contrived disasters. Gloria's neighborhood has its share of dangers but also its share of charms. Though seedy characters abound, Liffey prefers to look on the bright side: "I'd like to believe everybody's just an inch from okay.... A little less this, a little more that." The world Liffey inhabits is far from okay, but watching him struggle to make a small difference is big entertainment. Agent, Amy Rennert at Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman . (June 7)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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