cover image Head Lock: Head Lock

Head Lock: Head Lock

Jerome Doolittle, Doolittle. Pocket Books, $5.99 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74570-7

The personal becomes the political for Boston sometime-sleuth Tom Bethany when he accompanies his pregnant lover, ACLU executive Hope Edwards, to an Arlington, Va., abortion clinic. As Edwards is recovering, the clinic is picketed by televangelist and Senate-seat hopeful Rev. Howard Orrin and his Life Force activists. Bethany and Edwards befriend Kimberly, a disturbed and pregnant 14-year-old, as they evade the aggressive demonstrators. The next day, they learn that she has committed suicide. Meanwhile Edwards becomes a Life Force target: her family is plagued by abusive anonymous phone calls and her house is picketed. Tom, who is of the I-know-where-you-live-and-am-willing-to-hurt-you school of etiquette, decides to straighten out both the reverend and the older, married man who seduced Kimberly. The major mysteries here concern the extent of sleazy Rev. Orrin's ambitions and the nature of Tom's ``master plan'' to give the pastor his just reward in this life. Doolittle's ( Bear Hug ) rich imagination and offbeat sense of humor, neatly blending wit and raunch, give this story considerable energy, but it is not for everyone--especially not readers who wonder if the ends justify the means. (Dec.)