BLOODWORK by Henry Joseph


The New Rugged Cross
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 Jack Lee agrees to help best friend Smiley sell one last marijuana crop, but an evil cult leader and a sadistic serial killer have other plans in this pallid work of suspense by first-time novelist Joseph. Found innocent of conspiracy charges to import marijuana, Lee left ``The Trade'' and spent three years in the hills of Georgia. He's just rejoined the world and fallen in love with a beautiful Greenpeace activist when Smiley is found crucified and earless, wearing a marijuana crown. Only Lee knows that 300 marijuana plants are missing from Smiley's place. Helicopter pilot Lucius O'Dell, supporter of the white supremacist leader Reverend Clyde, is murdered next, but not before he babbles the names ``Clint'' and ``Reverend Clyde'' to his doctor, who in turn calls Atlanta TV reporter Courtney Fox. Both the doctor and Fox are found murdered, with their ears cut off. Smiley was the first victim in Reverend Clyde's plan to clean up the white race before establishing a righteous and white America. Clint DuBois enjoys the ``bloodwork'' for the Reverend Clyde, but he wants the money the marijuana will provide. Fox's friend and private investigator, a former FBI agent named Darrell Day, joins forces with Lee to find the killer. Lee contacts his old friend and dope broker, the Thin Man, to trace the plants while Day works his FBI contacts for information about the Reverend Clyde and DuBois. Lee trails DuBois when he makes arrangements to sell the marijuana to the Thin Man; on the same Sunday that the Reverend Clyde plans to present his Final Plan to his people, he is found crucified, wearing a crown of ears. An interesting premise, but thinly developed characters and scanty suspense make this disappointing.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1994
ISBN: 0-87905-628-2
Page count: 352pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1994