THE PARIAH by Collin Wilcox


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On his 14th case, the always unflappable Lt. Frank Hastings (Night Games, etc.) confronts a serial killer of tawdry streetwalkers who happens to be part of a TV evangelist's entourage--a family member, in fact. Proof? Part fact-finding from an FBI computer, part eye-witness testimony from pimp Dancer Browne. So, since Elton the demented son is fingered early on, what holds the reader's interest? Almost nothing, unless the reader's addicted to stereotypes: the evangelist's sultry daughter; the evangelist's alcoholic wife; the evangelist's dishonest No. 2 man; the evangelist's political ambitions. The book's only excitement comes from Lt. Pete Friedman, who is absolutely red-hot incensed about this Holloway brood and their shenanigans in the name of religion. Eventually, Elton is lead-pipe bludgeoned by his dad's one true friend, who is then gunned down by Hastings. Holloway tries to pass his son off as a martyr, but his wife Marvella sobers up for one hour, and, on camera no less, confesses everyone's sins. Bye-bye, billion-dollar religious empire; ditto the political aspirations. A very minor piece of work, strung out beyond the reader's powers of endurance.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1988
Publisher: Mysterious Press/dist. by Ballantine