THE IRIS DECEPTION by Bernard Schopen


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 Eighteen years ago, Patsy McLeod hired Reno private eye Jack Ross to find her missing daughter Heather. Jack didn't, but he did succeed in making Patsy very unhappy. Now she's having bad dreams, however, and she wants Jack to try again (even though Heather's probably dead), so that she can lay her daughter to rest once and for all. It's a preposterous assignment, of course, and it isn't made any more believable by the caricatures Jack encounters in his pilgrimage toward the truth: Patsy's righteous employer Rosetta Draine and her New West historian husband; rapacious developer Nolan Turner; burned-out pornographer Dale Rutledge; and Jack's opposite numbers, Desert Conservancy shamus Martha Reedy, who's also on Heather's trail, and evil Linus Flowers, who likes to hurt people. The whole crew, it seems, is struggling for control of the worthless parcel oþ¹¤þ¹¤þ¹¤þ¹¤¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ¤¤¹þ,,kþ,,kþ,,kþ,,kþhhwohhwohhwohhwotte tte tte tte tes between bemused philosophizing (the case is ``a web of evil woven on a loom of madness'') and a kind of maddening intuitiveness, realizes that they're really in league to cover up the secrets of a hippie commune that flourished some 18 years ago. Those secrets are powerful stuff, all right, and they're worth a book, but not this one. Schopen's detective is as windy as the acid-head freaks and knee-jerk New Wave ideologues he lambastes.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-87417-286-1
Page count: 296pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1996