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Detective Sergeant Tommy Donahoo’s horizon is suddenly thick with enemies, and what a motley group they are. There’s the enigmatic FBI agent, for instance, with an agenda so secret it sometimes confuses even him. There’s the enraged father of a loopy heiress, a murderous mobster, a ticked-off boss, and a pair of San Diego cops dedicated to jailing our maverick hero—this being somewhat unusual, since Donahoo himself is a San Diego cop: And the thing is, he keeps telling himself, the trouble looked unlike trouble at the outset. In a respectable, upscale bistro, here’s Donahoo having a few quiet ones when a “smudged angel” in designer clothes homes in on him. Her name, she says, is Jumpy. It’s not, of course, though —jumpy,— Donahoo soon discovers, is certainly descriptive of her high-energy approach to sex. In actuality, she’s the heiress Travata Havershot. (Trolley has a fondness for creative naming.) Travata and Donahoo begin a torrid affair, objected to vehemently by her rich and powerful father. It’s this very vehemence that earns Prescott Havershot III his billing as Donahoo Enemy Number One. Mad Marvin Molino—regarded by those in a position to know as a killer’s killer—is Enemy Number Two. Nothing personal, understand; it’s just that Donahoo was sole witness to one of Mad Marvin’s wrongful actions. All of these various and florid plot elements eventually come together—more or less—as the put-upon Donahoo struggles to retain not just his job, but his girl and his life. Not much of what happens here can be considered plausible. On the other hand, it’s all pretty lively and amusingly picaresque. Wayward Tommy (Juarez Justice, 1996, etc.) and that other Tom’surnamed Jones—are at least distantly related.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-7867-0513-2
Page count: 197pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1998


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