cover image Monastery Nigh

Monastery Nigh

Nick Spencer, Ross H. Spencer. Mysterious Press, $15.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-233-4

Chicago private eye Luke Lassiter gets a chance at big bucks when he is commissioned to write the ""final'' thriller of missing (and presumed dead) bestselling author Carl Garvey. Long a fan and a would-be writer, Lassiter successfully apes Garvey's slam-bang style and the book is a smash. But the insurance company is suspicious, and Lassiter himself is hired to find the missing author. Garvey's lawyer is killed, then his ``widow,'' and bodies start piling up. Before Lassiter can unravel the mystery, his live-in girlfriend is murdered and there's a climactic confrontation on a Fiji-bound ship. Spencer's (The Data Caper tough-guy tone is at first pleasantly old-fashioned but eventually becomes tiresome. Lassiter's tom-catting palls, the silly subplots founder in attempts at profundity, and the main plot cannot sustain a trite, melodramatic ending. (March 26)