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CROAKED! by Dick Lochte

CROAKED!

By Dick Lochte

Pub Date: April 18th, 2007
ISBN: 1-59414-525-3
Publisher: Five Star

It’s the Swinging ’60s, and at the nation’s number-two skin mag, someone is busily filling body bags.

Ogle, a monthly magazine “Devoted to the Masculine Pleasure-Principle,” has settled in comfortably behind Hugh Hefner’s colossus, but now danger looms. Penthouse emerges, gains strength and needs fending off. So the burning boardroom question is: “Do we, or do we not go pubic?” Heated argument ensues. Before the question can be resolved, however, another question supervenes: Was the untimely death of circulation manager Nick Hobart really the accident it first seemed? Crushed beneath Ogle’s stone frog, a statue 20 feet tall, he’s certainly dead, but was the magazine’s massive symbol urged from its lily pad? Harry Trauble, a young copywriter, suddenly finds himself at the centerfold of the deepening mystery along with ogle-worthy receptionist Terry O’Mara. Lovers almost at once, they are soon enough co-sleuths, and then, as events hurtle along, co-suspects and co-targets. What’s behind this surge of murder and mayhem at what had been a peaceful refuge for sexual sybarites: a power play, or something darker and scarier? Until the questions have answers, Harry knows, all at Ogle will be uneasy in their skin.

Unshackled from O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden after three collaborations (The Last Defense, 2002, etc.), Lochte serves up a giddy romp that’s not always coherent, but never dull.