Another cops-vs.-psycho-killer runaround--made slightly distinctive by its Vancouver (Can.) setting, its frankly unappealing...

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THE GOLDFISH BOWL

Another cops-vs.-psycho-killer runaround--made slightly distinctive by its Vancouver (Can.) setting, its frankly unappealing sleuths, and its far-fetched (if clever) denouement. A ruthless sniper--a man in garish female drag--has begun a cool, calculating series of killings. First to die is a mildly promiscuous secretary, age 44. Then a vibrant Greek widow-restaurateur is shot dead. (So is one of the cops: aging ladies'-man Dave Atkinson, who arrives to search the victim's apartment.) And the surviving cop-team--surly Jack Willows, defensive Claire Parker, and Atkinson's shell-shocked partner, George Franklin--faces the usual questions: Are the killings random? Or are all the victims somehow linked, however insanely, in the sniper's vendetta? The cops do find a common denominator: a certain singles' club that all the victims (more soon follow) belonged to. Furthermore, the psycho seems to be purposely teasing them with clues. But the final ambush/showdown with the sniper has an unexpected twist--one that's far from original (cf. Agatha Christie and Jerry Oster), hardly plausible, yet undeniably dramatic. Coldly violent (the sniper sequences) and tightly paced: an uncongenial but modestly promising debut.

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1988