NIGHT SEARCH by Jerre Mangione


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O thou convenient coincidence which keeps thy central characters flowing ever-so-smoothly to the climax. Down with all novelists who plot! Fortunately in this case we find the protagonist Michael Mallory beset by circumstance in the very first paragraph: ""It seemed to him that the events which decreed that he must be the one to track down his father's assassin were nothing less than carefully calculated acts of Providence."" Providence, in this case, has spoken through his wife's suicide. She was an insane bitch (literally) and since (as we discover along with Michael) it was decreed that he love such, he is enormously affected. Michael, the bastard son of the tremendously influential anarchist Paoli Polizzi, wings his way back to his hometown- Province- (appropriately named) town. On the way he happens to overhear a conversation (the assassination took place over 20 years ago) about his father. One participant (we discover, an atonished X number of pages later) is the assassin's wife. Whipping madly toward the finish we find Michael, armed with gun and righteousness, preparing a revenge: only to be thwarted by the exact image of his is first mistress Eva who had haunted him through the years. Eva, by the way, turned out to be an ex-mistress of his father. Well, after recovering from this blow, we find Michael being tended (he has received a vicious blow from the mistress-image) by the assassin and his sister who his father had !?!? But there are more surprises. Now if Lot's wife had only kept a diary.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1965
Publisher: Crown