A VICTIM MUST BE FOUND by Howard Engel

A VICTIM MUST BE FOUND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ontario's seedy, gentle P.I. Benny Cooperman on another of his baroque cases (The Ransom Game, etc.), this time hired by Pambos Kiriakis--manager and part owner of the town's ritziest hotel--to find a missing list. Pambos' eccentric friend Arthur Tallon, who ran the one good art gallery in town, has died, leaving with Pambos a list of art works borrowed from the gallery and now in the homes of university vice-president Peter MacCulloch, politician Alex Favell, distillery-owner Jonah Abraham, and other local bigwigs. Arthur's slovenly record-keeping makes the list the only hint on record that the gallery still owns those pictures--mostly by Canadian artists once obscure, now valuable. Benny talks to MacCulloch's wife Mary, a lady with other things on her mind; gets the heave-ho from Favell; and is lining up other interviews when he finds Pambos stabbed to death on his office floor, a strange object in the coffee cup near his body. As Benny's friendly enemy Sergeant Chris Savos takes up the murder, Benny, now employed by millionaire Abraham, continues to hunt the vagrant list. A near-fatality later--with digressions into Napoleonic lore and recent Greek-Turkish feuds along the way--Benny uncovers the villain, a second murder, and the scare behind it all. An overstuffed plot, a glut of red herrings, and the myriad details of Benny's lifestyle slow the action to a crawl. Only intermittently entertaining.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's