cover image Bear Hug: A Tom Bethany Mystery

Bear Hug: A Tom Bethany Mystery

Jerome Doolittle. Pocket Books, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74568-4

Doolittle ( Strangle Hold ) drops Boston PI Tom Bethany into a shark tank of S & L looters who gathered under deregulation and slipped through the federal (read Republican) net with the cash clenched in very sharp teeth. Bethany champions four Boston retirees who invested in Sunbanc, a failed Texas savings and loan run by Dr. Denton Somerville, who escaped retribution by dying. Brought up to speed on how the S & L rats operated by Washington contracts from his Carter campaign days, Bethany also learns that without a few hundred lawyers and investigators for as many trials, he has no chance of getting the duffers' money back--legally. Deciding to track the leftover loot anyway, the PI heads for Houston. Posing as a reporter, he interviews memorable locals, happy to spill their guts about the Doc and his widow, Billene, now grieving on her yacht off the coast of Maine with a muscular companion. When his cover is blown, Bethany barely escapes to the rough seas awaiting him in New England. Tension mounts as he closes in and Doolittle deals out some tricky, though not totally unexpected final surprises. A welcome sequel--Bethany is a Travis McGee for the '90s. (Nov.)