cover image The Chesire Moon

The Chesire Moon

Robert Ferrigno. William Morrow & Company, $20 (285pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10314-9

The fast-lane style that made Horse Latitudes overnight reading propels Ferrigno's new caper with equal speed. After public reaction to his newspaper column prompts a killer to be set free--with deadly results--Quinn (his only name) quits and joins the stylish gossip magazine SLAP , described as ``attack journalism with a manicure. '' Quinn and sexy photojournalist phenomenon Jen Takamura are covering a ``Musclemen for Jesus'' rally when he gets a frantic message from Andy, a buddy who hustles stolen high - tech hardware. Andy is on the run after witnessing the shooting of one of his customers, a sexual athlete who produced the TV show Straight Talk , hosted by the Oprah-ish Sissy Mizelle. Quinn gives the police Andy's story and a description of the killer, but they find Andy shot with the same gun, an apparent suicide, and close the case. Random clues make Quinn curious about Sissy and her singing-cowboy husband, John Stratton; when he and Jen get near Sissy's secret, the killer closes in. The characters--especially ``Mr. Hollywood,'' a former colleague who gives Quinn all the Tinseltown dirt, and a villainous ex-pro football player who is addicted to the Home Shopping Network--are as offbeat as Carl Hiaasen's wounded zanies, and the ending is a perfect fadeout. BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour. (Feb.)