When Martin Albrect stumbles into his detective agency, babbling that he's about to be murdered, Stanley Hastings is incredulousuntil he reads the next day that Albrect has been brutally shot. Albrect has left behind a series of clues, and Hastings feels honor-bound to take the case. He soon deduces that Albrect was a drug runner who double-crossed some members of a cocaine-trafficking ring. Hastings's investigations lead him to New York's Lower East Side, Miami and East Hampton. It's almost an academic exercise for Hastings, until he discovers the killers are on his track. Hastings is a novel addition to the detective genrea down-on-his-luck writer, short-tempered and opinionated, who moonlights as a detective (as does the author) and who has more brains than brawn. There are some obvious flaws to this bookHastings sometimes indulges in diatribes that have disturbing racial overtonesbut on the whole, Hall's good ear for gritty dialogue and his ability to evoke New York's neighborhoods and people make an entertaining mystery. (June 10)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987 Release date: 06/01/1987 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.