cover image Lush Life

Lush Life

Dallas Murphy. Pocket Books, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-68555-3

Artie Deemer, introduced in Lover Man , is still supported in style by his financially significant other--his dog Jellyroll, star of movies and dog food commercials. Artie spends much of his time at the Upscale Poolroom on New York's Upper West Side, but despite his easy life (or because of it), he is ``languid, torpid and depressed.'' His spirits rise when he falls in love with Crystal Spivey, a tough and beautiful pool player from Brooklyn. But her unhappy past catches up with her, drawing Deemer into a conspiracy that includes kidnapping, a sordid murder, many foul-mouthed villains and corruption at high levels of government. Dishing out plenty of idiosyncratic details (poolroom regulars have such names as Ted Bundy, Too Louis, Never-Miss Monroe and Outta-Town Brown), Murphy occasionally trips on the one-note humor as he delivers a fast-paced, if not always credible, tale. (Oct.)