Blood on the Arch
Robert J. Randisi. Minotaur Books, $22.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-312-24179-7
Set in St. Louis, this efficient, no-nonsense mystery doesn't waste a phrase or a plot turn. When someone bludgeons politician Mark Drucker to death beneath the city's famous landmark (hence the title), series sleuth (Shadow of the Arch) and New York transplant Joe Keough, now with the St. Louis cops, gets on the case. Drucker's ex-wife isn't exactly in mourning. The partners at a prominent law firm aren't grieving over their client, either, although they're intent on keeping his business dealings a secret from the police. Joe almost goes too far when he seizes the chance to interrogate an arrogant attorney in a restaurant washroom. Later, the detective succeeds in befriending the mayor, but he's offended others who see to it that he faces a charge of sexual assault not once but twice. Being diagnosed with diabetes provides another scare. Meanwhile, a killer with huge hands moves on from Drucker. Randisi's prose is supple and never flashy. Though the suspect pool is shallow, the varied motives are compelling. Drucker was making a lot of money with his lawyer pals. His wife wanted more dough than her prenuptial would allow. Several lawyers are guilty of at least infidelity, while a pretty woman at their firm becomes one of Joe's accusers. The solution arrives without unnecessary flourish. (Apr.) FYI: Randisi also writes the Nick Delvecchio and Miles Jacoby series. He is the founder of the Private Eye Writers of America and the creator of the Shamus Award.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000