cover image The Man Who Murdered Himself: The Man Who Murdered Himself

The Man Who Murdered Himself: The Man Who Murdered Himself

Richard Fliegel. Pocket Books, $4.99 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74451-9

Fliegel's ( Time to Kill ) comic mystery takes PIs Shelly Lowenkopf and Homer Greely to a pricey but strange New Jersey clinic. Roberta Davenport hires the two to find her husband, Howard, who has exhausted their savings on self-improvement programs at the clinic and seems determined to stay indefinitely. Shelly checks in as a patient just in time to see Ray Singh, a staff statistician, mowed down by a driverless truck. When Shelly realizes his treatment--ostensibly to stop smoking--involves having several hundred volts of electricity run through him, he opts to continue his stay as an initiate of the Church of the Unflagging Eye: TV worshipers who run their training course at the clinic. Soon after, psychologist Henry Harrison, the admired but dictatorial director of the clinic, is dismembered with an ax--and Howard Davenport is the primary suspect. Fliegel's humor about TV worship is overplayed and ultimately unfocused, and readers with imagination will realize whodunit the moment Harrison is discovered. But Shelly and Homer's sane presence keep the book on course while allowing for freshly odd moments. (Mar.)