THE FLIP SIDE OF LIFE by James E. Martin


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A gruesome, lively second skirmish for laid-off Cleveland cop/desultory p.i. Gil Disbro, who now is asked to locate missing college professor Alan Gault and his eight-year-old son, Brandon. The case heats up when another p.i.--noted deprogrammer and child-snatcher John Monk--is found a possible suicide in the apartment of student Ted Wycoff, last seen ransacking Gault's office. It turns out that Wycoff and Monk were hired by Brandon's grandparents--retired, hard-line cop Wesley and his Bible-thumping Esther--to kidnap the boy; they think he witnessed his dad's murder of his mom, their daughter Tricia. Did Gault kill her, for love of her sexy sister Arlene? While Disbro searches for the answer, Brandon is kidnapped again, now almost catatonic from the pederastic attentions paid him by the late Monk. One seduction and several false trails later, Disbro and the plot reach an uncomfortable conclusion for all concerned, even the lovelorn tutor. As savvy as The Mercy Trap, with Martin's most trenchant moments again coming from nitty-gritty police detail, unsavory child-abusers, and messy, all-too-human attempts to protect family members.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1990
Publisher: Putnam