cover image Kill Story: A Tom Bethany Mystery

Kill Story: A Tom Bethany Mystery

Jerome Doolittle. Pocket Books, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79980-9

Sex, money and power make headlines in the sixth Tom Bethany caper (after Body Scissors) as Tom-expert wrestler, 1980 Carter campaign worker and latter-day technological Robin Hood-sees the sleazier side of the newspaper business. He's recruited into a scheme to reacquire the Cambridge (Mass.) Daily Banner, which has fallen into the hands of wealthy Thurman Boucher. Not long after Boucher, aka ``the Cobra,'' acquires the paper, its previous owner, Linda Cushing, is found dead, an apparent suicide. But both Linda's daughter and her old friend Felicia Lamport, who's also Tom's old pal, think Boucher is responsible for the death. Through a neat combination of luck, brawn and guile, Tom signs on as Boucher's security consultant, chauffeur and wrestling coach, from which position he sets about initiating dirty tricks galore in hopes of souring Boucher on his latest acquisition. Events heat up to an explosive climax after Tom is ordered to murder the Banner's fired managing editor. Doolittle gives his colorful characters plenty of snappy dialogue, and Tom is as funny and sardonic a narrator as mystery readers are likely to find. British, translation, first serial, film and TV rights: ICM. (Dec.)