SOUTHERN CROSS by Jim DeBrosse

SOUTHERN CROSS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What better way for Cincinnati reporter Rick Decker (Hidden City, 1991, etc.) to recuperate from his breakup with long-term girlfriend Janet (they'd been on the skids ever since he displayed cowardice during a canoeing accident) than to go undercover with his photographer, Rebo Johnson, on the windjammer from which local heir Justin Grammer has just disappeared? Rick's cover fades under the Caribbean sun; all the eligible women know after two minutes that he must be a reporter, and his room is tossed before he can even unpack. But Rick cracks the case open by focusing on two mysteries: a videotape missing from the room Justin shared with supermodel Danielle Evans, and gym teacher Leslie Stanton's insistence that Justin returned to the Southern Cross from his last night ashore, even though nobody else saw him. The breaks come too late, though, to save Danielle's life. It turns out she and Justin were blackmailing a South Carolina congressman into dropping a bill that would allow insurance companies to reject patients with AIDS. Two questions remain: Where did Danielle hide the videotape that Showed All, and, given the congressman's long arm, are there any potential allies Rick can be sure aren't agents of his deadly damage control? A lightly tossed blend of detection, adventure, romance (Rick shakes off the oldgirlfriend blues and his doubts about his own bravery), and paranoid social-consciousness. Perfect for readers who can't afford their own winter cruise: It even supplies tropical breezes.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1994
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: St. Martin's