cover image Drover


Bill Granger / Author William Morrow & Company $20 (228p) ISBN

Hampered by cliches, the hammering rhythms of simple staccato sentences and a trite plot, Granger's series launch doesn't match up to his November Man books. Former Chicago sports reporter Jimmy Drover, fired for alleged gangland connections, is approached by mobster Tony Rolls to check out a betting pool that may be operating out of the Chicago Commodities Exchange and could threaten Rolls's own operation. The gangster arranges a poker game in which Drover fleeces Slim Dingo, the arch-enemy of Drover's lady-love, Nancy. Dingo retaliates by beating and raping Nancy, and stealing the money won from him. Nancy flees to Drover's Santa Cruz, Calif., home where his pal, bartender Black Kelly, nurses her back to health, while Drover looks for the mastermind behind the betting pool. The action is slowed by repetitious explanations of sports betting, commodities trading and mob dictums; Drover, depicted as a semi-sentimental tough guy, is a cardboard hero. Little excitement here. (June)