AN UPRUSH OF MAYHEM by Jack S. Scott

AN UPRUSH OF MAYHEM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like some previous outings for ape-like, mean-minded Detective Inspector Rosher, this is more black comedy than mystery--with Scott's interest in psychosexual pathology again prominent. Erie Brewster, the plain young housemaid at the manse of old Sir Roland Goyt, is found murdered in the woods. Obvious suspect: handsome con-man Freddie Lugge, who did indeed seduce Evie, wanting her help in setting up a heist of Sir R.'s hidden treasures. But, while Rosher proudly collars Freddie and grills him fiercely, the real killer lurks tremblingly: it's the Goyt gardener, a repressed sex maniac. Meanwhile, too, Freddie's cronies go ahead with the heist, now blackmailing the gardener (they know of his sex-crime past) into helping them. And when the robbery ensues, Sir R. drops dead from the excitement--leading to a funeral/heist slapstick finale, along with the embarrassing (to Rosher) realization that Freddie's not the killer. Strained farce, heavy on low-life dialect and noisy coincidence: only for fans of quasi-comically gross Rosher, whose crude fumbles this time include the public groping (semi-unintentional) of a colleague's wife.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1982
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields/Houghton Mifflin