First Prize

Edward Cline, Author Mysterious Press $15.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-291-4
Readers of this workmanlike first detective novel will not be surprised to learn that Cline is working on the authorized Ayn Rand biography. Chess Hanrahan, wealthy New York private eye, is hired by the Granville Foundation to find Gregory Compton, a struggling novelist who has been awarded but hasn't claimed the $25,000 Granville Prize. Hanrahan is soon working his way through a pack of literary hyenas out to conquer ""with boredom and despair and artful filth.'' The only redeeming features of the case, for Hanrahan, are rich, goddess-like Rhea, Compton's lover, and Compton's writings. The missing novelist's hero is the very model of a modern Objectivist: ``He triumphed because for as long as he kept his vision, he had to triumph.'' When Compton is killed in a purported car accident, Hanrahan investigates even though he's been fired by the Foundation, and the plot plods to a not-surprising solution. The wooden characters and Cline's distaste for modern manners and our ``welfare state'' are only relieved by some wonderfully stilted dialogue: ``You pose an interesting hypothesis, Sayres, I said. I mean, your character does.'' The heavies in publishing, foundations, universities and the media will probably survive this thinly veiled attack. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-445-40792-3
Paperback - 186 pages - 978-0-9825157-7-8
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