Dead Heat

Willyce Kim, Author Alyson Books $6.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55583-119-6
This novel's offbeat cast of lesbian and canine characters debuted in Dancer Dawkins and the California Kid. Kim's latest offering will not disappoint fans as Dancer, suffering from a broken heart, visits the Kid in San Francisco; the Kid is madly in love with a gangster's girlfriend named Janes Philips Joyce; and Ta Jan goes her own cool way betting on the horses. The ``dead heat'' of the title is taken from the world of thoroughbred racing, part of the locale for this story of lost-and-found love and money. Through Ta Jan and Janes, the women foil a plot to compel Cody Roberts, a young female jockey, to throw a crucial race, and by doing so manage to free Janes from the mobster. Kim's lean, deadpan style belies her gift for seeing subtle humor in the ordinary, shambling state of human nature. Her characteristic technique of breaking down the plot into brief scenes successfully conveys the sense that aimless events are converging into a mosaic of meaning, independent of the efforts of her anti-heroinesand perhaps far beyond their ken. An arthritic German shepherd keeps a wry but indulgent eye on this kind but mostly ineffectual odd flock of humans. (October)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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