Red Rosa

Michael Collins, Author, Michael Collins, Other Dutton Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55611-052-8
Collins's reputation stands on a series of novels with qualities rare in the mystery/thriller genre. The hero of Minnesota Strip, Freak, etc. is one-armed private eye, Dan Fortune, who tackles a weirdly complicated case here. In a New York City welfare hotel, 88-year-old ""Red'' Rosa is shot and lies comatose in a hospital, unable to name her attacker. Although Rosa has been a Communist agitator all her life, no one really hates her, according to her granddaughter Lenny, who hires Fortune to solve the case. No one except Lenny's father, Rosa's son, who has long since cut himself off from his embarrassing mother. But the detective learns tawdry secrets about various people in Rosa's life, and he follows a crooked path that leads to a group of citizens trying to free a black athlete convicted on perjured evidence. The case seems unconnected to Rosa's until Fortune uproots proof of dirty tricks buried by cynical politicos and government officials. Although he knows his life is at stake, the detective confronts the crooks, bringing the story to a smashing close. (February 16)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
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