BERNHARDT'S EDGE by Collin Wilcox


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Pleasant albeit bland debut case for S.F. playwright/actor/director Alan Bernhardt, who subsidizes his nonprofitable careers by moonlighting at the Dancer Detective Agency. Here, Bernhardt is hired to find Betty Giles, who seems to be on the lam with boyfriend Nick Ames. Bernhardt locates them, calls in, and quicker than you can say ""setup,"" Nick's blown away by a black dude named Willis Dodge, who's equally comfy with a UZI, a magnum, or an icepick. Soon Betty's gone again, Bernhardt is befriending her mother and getting tips on her whereabouts, and Dodge is closing in--on orders from the very mysterious Justin Powers, who is actually fronting for the third richest man in the world. Seems that Betty and the boyfriend were blackmailing him and he's mad. For murky, sentimental fair-play reasons, Bernhardt resigns from Dancer's, sides with Betty, lays a trap for Dodge, withstands the lackadaisical stupidity of the Borrego Springs desert police; while Powers incriminates himself and (probably) the third richest man in the world when their plans to call off this second hit (on Betty) boomerang. Not much suspense, and the blackmail material seems pretty anticlimactic. Wilcox regulars Hastings and Friedman (The Pariah, etc.) have walk-on roles and, though only barely here, are more interesting than Bernhardt. Maybe he should be the walk-on, in Wilcox's other, better, and more durable series.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1988
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's