THE NIGHT MEN: A Jason Keltner Mystery

Keith Snyder, Author . Walker $23.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3370-2

Quirky, whimsical and musical, this fourth Jason Keltner mystery (after 1999's Trouble Comes Back) weaves past, present and passages from a fictitious book into more of a magical mystery tour than a mystery. The friendships forged in the fires of youth are often strongest, and those formed by Jason and Roberto and Martin, three California boys, have survived into adulthood. A call from a gay friend whose newly opened Brooklyn music store has been vandalized spurs Jason to action. And the likelihood that it was a hate crime calls to mind the events that caused three very different high schoolers to bond years ago. With an assist from Roberto, who flies in from the west coast, Jason embarks on a bizarre quest to find out who was behind the vandalism and determine the meaning of a strange Web site that uses the name of the music shop. The original adventure that brought the boys together and their current challenge are told in tandem with readings from a pulp novel of great importance to them. The resulting search for the mysterious Inscrutable Whom, the restoration of the Magic Music Shop and the resolution of the vandalism make for a "coming of maturity" tale that complements the coming-of-age story of their first meeting. Snyder's approach to the mystery is highly original, and both his characters and the setting he creates are engaging and effective. This is a title that needs help finding its audience, but it might win cult status when it does. Agent, Curtis Brown.(Nov. 30)

Reviewed on: 10/08/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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