Like Gary Stewart (outstanding) and Cleo Jones (intense), Thurman (so-so) makes his mystery debut with a Utah murder...

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WHITEWASHED TOMBS

Like Gary Stewart (outstanding) and Cleo Jones (intense), Thurman (so-so) makes his mystery debut with a Utah murder involving--at least peripherally--the Mormon Church. The narrator-hero here is Salt Lake City lawyer Adam Leer--divorced, lapsed in his Mormon faith (to his family's chagrin), and hotly if warily involved with non. Mormon school psychologist Jo Souval. His latest client, too, is a non-Mormon woman: rich, lonely Jackie Asher, whose husband Ben has recently died in a car accident--just after hiring Leer to bring antitrust suit against Basin Health Labs, an unscrupulous company that's using bribes, kickbacks, and dirty tricks to get a monopoly on the area's health services. (A small medical lab is among the many Asher holdings.) So Leer starts gathering allies in the suit: the police, other small lab owners (including Mrs. Asher's bygone fiancÉ, a devout Mormon). It becomes clear that Ben Asher's death was foul play--while nasty attacks on Leer and Mrs. Asher escalate. And eventually the monopoly scheme is foiled--but there's an unrelated killer lurking (pretty obviously) in the background. Leer's run-ins with assorted hired thugs generate some vigorous action, especially when he teams up with a biker-gang pal. Elsewhere, however, the storytelling is slow and talky, with overfamiliar ""relationship"" wrangles dominating the Leer/Souval romance. So this rather thinly plotted first novel is only modestly involving, though some of the character touches (Leer's edgy encounters with his semi-devout brother, for example) promise better things ahead.

Pub Date: Dec. 22, 1987

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1987