The 19th appearance of San Francisco's Lt. Frank Hastings is a somewhat disappointing offering from one of the masters of the procedural. The body of Lisa Franklin is found in a park near the Presidio district. Lisa, a self-described courtesan, leaves behind three volumes of tortured poetry and several wealthy San Francisco businessmen with some explaining to do. As usual, Wilcox ( Dead Aim ) makes shrewd use of mise-en-scene and meticulously maps out the movement of his plot, but he trips over the relationship that develops between former football player Hastings and female cop Janet Collier. While interrogating the businessmen and quizzing two drug burnouts living in the apartment below the victim's, Hastings and Collier indulge in an overwrought romantic entanglement that doesn't square with the rest of the tale. Wilcox's aim is also off in regard to the killer, whose interspersed musings don't fully mesh with the character as revealed to the reader. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993 Release date: 08/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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