FAST FRIENDS by Dianne Pugh

FAST FRIENDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Back in the days of the great earthquake of 1971, more than Los Angeles was falling apart. After somebody killed crusty landowner Gabriel Gaytan with hammer and pickax, Gabe's cousin Humberto de la Garza, the police suspect, died in police custody, leaving Gabe's weak-minded daughter Dolly, already under the thumb of her slumlord husband Bill DeLacey, to inherit his ranch. Now the earth is trembling again, and this time the DeLacey family fortunes are too. Addled Dolly is dead, an alleged suicide, right after finding a will in Bill's favor she doesn't remember writing, and making a desperate phone call to Iris Thorne, the daughter of onetime DeLacey handyman Les Thorne, for help. So Iris, who ought to be looking at great days ahead--a promised promotion in her financial counseling firm, a couple of interesting new men in her life--ends up peering down the well of her own past, trying to get in touch with Bill's wayward daughter Paula in time for the funeral and wondering which of the two candidates for the city council--Bill's son Thomas, one of those interesting new men, or incumbent Gil Alvarez, the cop turned lawyer who covered up Humberto's fatal beating--has more to hide. In fact, Pugh's real achievement here is making every single person Iris is attached to look suspicious and guilty. Slower, deeper, and altogether richer than Iris's breezy first two adventures (Slow Squeeze, 1994, etc.). Who says you can't go home again?

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1997
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Pocket