THE STAR by David Skibbins


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Berkeley Tarot reader Warren Ritter (High Priestess, April 2006, etc.) tries to free his estranged daughter from a murder rap while he absorbs shocking facts about his recently deceased father.

When screwed-up Fran Ritter asks her father for help, he can hardly refuse. After years with the Weather Underground under an assumed name, Warren faked his own death and lived without roots for over 30 years before settling onto the Berkeley street corner where he works. Shortly after he gets to know Fran, her husband Orrin, a policeman, abruptly moves out and takes their infant son, Justin, with him. Before Warren can propose a plan of action, elderly visitor Eric Landon drops the bombshell that Warren’s father was his gay lover during the last years of his life. It’s doubly remarkable news concerning a man who was married at the time of his death. When Orrin turns up murdered and Fran emerges as the prime suspect, she responds with a suicide attempt, not her first, leaving Warren with instant (secret) custody of baby Justin. He appeals to his sister Tara for information about dad and his widow, Julia Hightower. Sally, Warren’s wheelchair-bound girlfriend, uses her computer expertise to probe both matters while he does the legwork. Standing in the way is Orrin’s bulldog partner Vespie, who’s determined to nail both Fran and Ritter.

Despite abundant humor and a very likable cast of regulars, Skibbins’s third feels dashed off.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2007
ISBN: 0-312-36193-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2006


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