cover image Agent


David R. Slavitt, Bill Adler, Jr.. Doubleday Books, $16.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-385-23007-0

This third effort by the team who produced the Robins Family whodunits will probably be popular despite its ostentatious, contrived tone. Events unfold in flashbacks as Leonard Castle flees through the dark streets of Manhattan, trying to escape a murderous pursuer. A top literary agent, Castle has arranged ghost-written deals for autobiographies that make huge profits for himself and his clients. But now someone enraged by secrets bared in the books is out for revenge. Clues to the killer appear in the agent's recollections of the famous and notorious people he had manipulated into ""confessions.'' They include a nasty ex-president of the U.S., a rehabilitated porn-movie star, a TV talk-show host, the alcoholic wife of a U.S. Senator, an exiled film director who had jumped bail after his arrest for statutory rape. The real-life prototypes of the characters are easily identifiable in the sleazy incidents that are described in often distasteful language. February 21