COPP IN THE DARK by Don Pendleton


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More tough-guy posturing from LA. shamus Copp, whose two cases now--to protect the East Foothills Dinner Theater's leading man Craig Maan from ""accidents"" and to find a Minnesota judge's missing son--intersect when Crag, a gay FBI informant, is murdered, as are four other members of the cast of Man of La Mancha during an off-stage orgy. Also, Lunceford, who steps into the leading man's role, was a college chum of Craig's--in fact, Craig often usurped his identity for inexplicable purposes of his own. Copp's investigation centers on theater director Judith White, whose past includes a stint in Japan working as a hooker for mafioso DiCenza the younger. His dad, DiCenza the elder, is currently on trial before her dad, an honest LA. judge. Or is he? By the time Copp winds up the case, the judge is (maybe) a suicide, certainly a cross-dresser, undoubtedly gay and definitely a blackmail target. Meanwhile, the author is reduced to explaining odd bits of plot that don't quite hang together by having Copp state he'll probably ""never know"" why X did this and Y did that. Less lurid than previous Copps, but Pendleton fans will barely have time to catch their breath anyway, what with the drugs, the crime bosses, the Japanese businessmen, and all those cast changes.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1990
Publisher: Donald Fine