cover image Murder Straight Up

Murder Straight Up

Edward Gorman. St. Martin's Press, $14.95 (197pp) ISBN 978-0-312-55325-8

Jack Dwyer, the ex-cop who appeared in Gorman's previous novels Rough Cut and New, Improved Murder, makes his return in a rather slight and lackluster crime thriller. Working as a security guard between acting jobs, Dwyer is at the studios of Channel 3 news when a break-in occurs, but he fails to catch the teenager responsible. That mistake costs Dwyer his job the next day when anchorman David Curtis dies from poisoning just as the evening news broadcast goes on the air. Working from his cop's instincts, Dwyer knows that the young man in the building was not the murderer and finds a more likely group of suspects among the newsman's colleagues. But as Dwyer investigates the crime, he becomes a target himself when a mysterious stranger tries to kill him. Intended to send up the TV news business, this is a book without much bite and whose characters and action come off as a little too pat. (July 28)