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SWITCHBACK by Collin Wilcox

SWITCHBACK

By Collin Wilcox

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8050-2104-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

 San Francisco homicide co-commander Frank Hastings (Dead Center, etc.), in trying to make sense out of beautiful Lisa Franklin's life and death (a jogger found her body out at Baker Beach), interviews her neighbors, the burned-out Jamie and the spaced-out C.J., along with her roommate Barbara Estes--and learns not only that the two women were lovers but also that Lisa, a self- labeled ``courtesan,'' was being kept in solvency by three men, one of whom was the target of an SEC investigation. Using as an excuse that he needs a woman's insights, Frank draws Inspector Janet Collier into the case; and while Hastings wrestles with his craving for her, she scours Lisa's journals and concludes that the woman was a blackmailer. Then C.J. is murdered; more blackmailers are revealed; and the final unraveling finds Janet going mano a mano with a killer.... Surprisingly sloppy work from Wilcox (he puts credit cards in the victim's purse, for instance, then later says she had no charge cards), but he almost salvages this with a deft plot-twist or two and a compelling portrait of the beginnings of an affair.