DEAD FACES LAUGHING by David Delman

DEAD FACES LAUGHING

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Who planted a bomb in the car of top American comic Charley Elfenbein, thus blowing the famous, obnoxious funnyman to smithereens? That's the question for the NYPD's tough, wry Lieut. Jacob Horowitz (Death of a Nymph, He Who Digs a a Grave, etc.), who grew up with Charley 35 years ago in a tough Bronx neighborhood. There's no shortage of suspects, since Charley was a ruthless people-user. He stole Wife #1 from his best Bronx pal (who stayed on as lifelong agent). He later drove Wife #1 to fatal alcoholism, thus angering son Michael. He stole Wife #3 (hot-blooded gypsy Myra) from his long-suffering lawyer brother, then dumped her, and he owed big bucks to mobster Sal Crowley, another pal from the Bronx-childhood days. So Jacob chats repeatedly with all these suspects, and others, while listening to taped reminiscences left behind by the dead man. Meanwhile, too, he and shrewd, passionate cop-wife Helen argue about a big-money offer they've gotten: a Chicago tycoon wants the Horowitzes to take over his private security setup. An over-familiar plot with dated show-biz atmosphere and a weak windup--but Delman moves the humdrum detection along briskly, enlivening the proceedings with zesty dialogue, sharply ironic asides, and the amusingly sexy tension in the double-cop marriage.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday