SAND DOLLARS by Charles Knief


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You might think there were enough detectives in California already. But when Claire Peters's husband Paul disappears from their San Diego home with $7 million from the software company he started, she imports John Caine from Pearl Harbor. Neither the cops nor Petersoft's head bean-counter Joseph Stevenson believes Claire's story that she saw Paul on a Mexican beach months after he was supposedly blown up in a boating accident. But Caine's more than happy to surround himself with ex-SWAT members and ordnance and to head south of the border, where it tums out that the disappearance of Paul Peters, with or without his company's kitty, is mainly an excuse for the nonstop fisticuffs familiar from Diamond Head (1996). Nearly everybody, from a pair of casual hotel thieves to the Mexican police, seems to want a piece of Caine, but his lead adversary looks to be deadly spitfire Lorena Garcia, and who knows if Caine will be willing to give her what she deserves? (""I'd never hit a woman before. Shot a few, but never hit one""). His fans will be happy to know that, like Travis McGee, Caine fends off the advances of vulnerable women however beautiful; that he solves the mystery long before he runs out of firepower; and he saves his most tender moments (""exploring her hidden places, running my hand over smooth texture, letting my eyes rove wherever they wished"") for his new boat.

Pub Date: April 10th, 1998
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's