cover image The Bone Polisher: A Simeon Grist Mystery

The Bone Polisher: A Simeon Grist Mystery

Timothy Hallinan. William Morrow & Company, $22 (305pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10345-3

Hallinan (The Man with No Time) shifts between cute and scary in the latest case he sets for L.A. shamus Simeon Grist, embroiled here in the search for a serial killer who preys on gay men. Simeon, decidely heterosexual, is close to tying the knot with longtime lady friend Eleanor, when he's hired by a dying man who believes his elderly lover, Max, is in mortal danger. The man is right: Max is soon the victim of a homophobic serial killer who slices his victims open and then writes home to their families to reveal the secret of their sexuality. The wit of Hallinan's previous Simeon outings is still in evidence here (he begins with a coyly sinister introduction to the murderer), but some of these issues, e.g., uncertain sexual orientation and self-loathing, are hard matters to successfully crack wise over. Now nearing 40, Simeon seems a bit old for the whining angst that impending nuptials inspire in him. This sixth Simeon Grist tale will appeal most to longtime fans of the series. (Apr.)