cover image Click to Play

Click to Play

David Handler, . . Severn, $28.95 (250pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6811-4

At the start of this unconvincing near-future thriller from Edgar-winner Handler (The Sour Cherry Surprise ), Tim Ferris, a former child actor on The Big Happy Family , America's top-rated TV show from 1954 to 1968, sends Ernest Ludington Thayer, the “world's oldest living Pulitzer Prize winner,” a letter offering the truth behind the 1972 murder spree that killed six of the show's other cast members. One of Ferris's co-stars on the Brady Bunch –like show was Gary Dixon, now a U.S. senator and “Christian conservative” running for president. Dixon leads his Democratic opponent by a wide margin in the polls. Since age has left Thayer too infirm to leave his New York City home and follow up himself, he dispatches Hunt Liebling, a courageous independent blogger, to California to learn what Ferris knows. Liebling's mission soon turns violent after the corrupt creator of The Big Happy Family sends in hired muscle to stop Ferris from talking. Major plot holes don't help a hard-to-swallow premise. (Dec.)