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DEAD DINOSAURS by Gary Alexander


by Gary Alexander

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1994
ISBN: 0-385-46896-2
Publisher: Doubleday

Yucat†n tour guide/souvenir retailer/detective Luis Balam's second case (following Blood Sacrifice, 1993) is a tale of two gamblers. The first is Vance Dugdale, whose nifty idea for a Dead Dinosaur historical exhibit in Luis's home village of Ho-Keh is only a perfunctory front for his scheme to set up slot machines for blue-haired cruise-ship vacationers, pull the machines down, and truck them to the next village before the federales can find out what's going on. The second is reclusive millionaire Bob Chance, looking to hire Luis as the bodyguard who'll help protect his big score, a Washington State lottery that left him $3 million richer, from Mikey Smith, the sports-bar owner who thinks he has a half interest in the ticket. The two gamblers—smooth Dugdale, who sports half a dozen aliases and doesn't miss a trick, and blobby Bobby, who's being pursued not only by Mikey Smith but by two women who each insist she's his wife—couldn't be more different, and their stories have nothing to do with each other. So why does Smith get killed in Chance's overpriced hotel room by a bullet apparently from Dugdale's signature gun? And why do Dugdale and Chance then take off together, leading Luis, the wives, and assorted locals and gulls on a merry chase? A giddy gallimaufry of fraud, paranoia, corruption high and low, and simple deceit, though the plotting is too slapdash to fulfill the promise of its opening 50 pages.