Pursuit of Fear

William Beechcroft, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $17.95 (259p) ISBN 978-0-88184-510-5
In this lightweight thriller, middle-aged real estate developer Steve Gammon traces his brother Jim, missing from Washington, D.C., to Hawaii. There Steve discovers Jim's body deep in a rainforest, decapitated after his car apparently left the remote highway on a cliff above. Steve has already deduced that Jim was on his way to see Walter Van Heyden, who has been discovered dead in his swimming pool. Rejecting the police verdict that both deaths were accidental, Steve flies to Washington and starts to poke around the right-wing FRETSAW (``Freedom Through Specialized Awareness'') foundation, which had employed Jim. FRETSAW stonewalls his efforts, so he makes friends with Alix Cortland, beautiful executive assistant to the foundation's second-in-command Horace Buttonwood. After learning that Buttonwood is a con-man from way back, Steve and Alix break in to the FRETSAW offices and discover a scam worth millions, but are captured by a sadistic security guard, setting up a limp, predictable denouement. Holes in the plot and flaws in characterization mar this offering from the author of the well-received Chain of Vengeance . (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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