THE DEAD HORSE PAINT COMPANY by Earl Emerson

THE DEAD HORSE PAINT COMPANY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Back east, fire chief Edgar Callahan led a charmed life. In spite of the nine fatalities stemming largely from his mistakes in fighting a blaze at the Dead Horse Paint Company three years ago, he survived to defend himself vigorously against his colleague Randy Knutson's book-length j'accuse. Now, three years and thousands of miles from the Dead Horse fire, Callahan's luck has run out: Somebody's shoved him into the trunk of a stolen car, doused it with gasoline, and set it afire. Urged on by Callahan's widow, Staircase (Wash.) fire chief Mac Fontana searches for the killer and, boy, does he have a rich field. All the locals hated swaggering Callahan, and a local convention on the Dead Horse disaster--run by none other than Fontana's old nemesis, Staircase safety director Roger Truax--amounts to a virtual family reunion of Dead Horse survivors, from Lawrence Drummey and Lou Strange, both mourning their brothers killed in the fire, to Strange's daughter Grace Teller, who's so unhinged that she keeps throwing herself at Fontana even though he's finally consummated his relationship with Sally Culpepper, a.k.a. movie star Aimee Lee. Another corpse in another burning car helps make Fontana's fifth case (Going Crazy in Public, 1996, etc.) one of his most somber. All the characters seethe with so much anger, pain, and confusion that they make ideal suspects; it's a shame the ending has to exonerate most of them. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-688-13751-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997




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