A TERRIBLE TIME TO DIE by Anthony Scaduto


Email this review


A lumbering corruption-athon that is almost totally exposition, never gets off the ground, and just deteriorates down the runway. The Mayor of New York is a millionaire, and his very rich sister Cynthia is married to up-and-coming Assistant D.A. Joe Wembly, and the Mayor's very rich brother is kinky for a singer who is taking him for a ride. When Joe Wembly is found dead in his library, his head shot away and a rifle in his hands, the medical examiner says: accidental death while cleaning his rifle. Murder, Cynthia tells the hero, Ray Jeffers, a reporter sniffing a story with a good rich stink to it. Joe, you see, has been borrowing money from the Mafia (not very smart for a district attorney) so that he can put on a front and keep face with his rich wife. While Ray and Cynthia pursue the mystery and each other (Ray is a childhood pal of the victim and knows he could not have killed himself accidentally), kinky brother Aaron insists that it was not murder and that Wembly's recent $120,000 insurance policy means nothing. The ensuing sensational revelations are too hot for Ray to get printed--and too wearying for us to report. Thickly plotted tawdriness in thuggish, ape-tone narration.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam