FROM THUNDER BAY by Arthur Maling


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Paul and Jack Resenberg, orphaned brothers separated as children, are obsessively devoted to each other as adults; but while self-assured Jack (adopted by relatives) has become successful nightclub singer ""Jack Regent,"" ne'er-do-well Paul (adopted by strangers) has gone from bad to worse ever since he deserted the army and fled to Canada, And now whiny loser Paul has really loused up his life: he has agreed to drive smuggled American guns from a small airport in Kenora, Ontario, to Toronto--where they'll be sent to Jamaica (in exchange for ganja). The scheme, however, goes awry: police are ready to nab the smugglers at the Kenora airport; Paul panics, running down an RCMP constable (who dies); and he flees into the woods, hopping trucks and trains, getting help from his Indian-Marxist pal Charlie, being chased by the cops, the FBI, and his crooked employers. So, from Atlantic City, brother Jack rushes to the rescue (Paul has phoned in his location). But by the time he finds Paul--hiding out at a college in Thunder Bay, on the Canada side of Lake Superior--the fugitive has pneumonia; and Jack's agonized-over plan for them to travel incognito to Las Vegas (a delirious Paul is stuffed with amphetamines) turns out to be futile and fatal. . . . As in The Rheingold Route, mystery-writer Maling shows his versatility with dandy, lean action scenes and vividly varied supporting characters. This time, however, he's stuck with two unappealing protagonists--pathetic Paul and noisy Jack (who keeps loudly announcing his brotherly devotion); and their relationship is never convincing enough to warrant the near-soap-opera treatment Maling lavishes on it. Solid suspense, then, somewhat hampered by background padding and the lack of a sympathetic hero.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row