cover image Hard Bargains

Hard Bargains

James Grady / Author MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (252p) IS

Washington, D.C., private investigator John Rankin (Runner in the Street) is approached by a beautiful woman calling herself Cora McGregor, who wants to find out the status of a seven-year-old murder case but won't tell him her reasons. Rankin learns from his friend Nick Sherman, a homicide detective in D.C., that the dead man, an Iranian national named Parviz Naderi, had been a wheeler-dealer nightclub owner with links to Savak, the Shah's secret police, as well as to assorted dope dealers, trucking industryrelated mobsters and other nasty characters. Sherman had been investigating Naderi's killing until frustrated by departmental pressure. Now he is eager that Rankin find out what really happened, while ""Cora,'' whose real name is Barbara Sloan, is equally anxious that he not do so. As Rankin probes Naderi's past, he finds himself increasingly involved in the present life of Barbara and her dangerous, but deceptively charming, husband. Grady, a former assistant to journalist Jack Anderson (he also wrote Six Days of the Condor), knows both the appearance and the reality of our nation's capital, and he provides an abundance of inside lore in this tension-filled tale. Foreign rights: William Morris.November 5