BLACKBALL by Jimmy Sangster


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Helping his Malibu neighbors during a flood-storm, British ex-cop James Reed--ex-husband of movie-star Katherine Long (Snowball, 1986)--catches a glimpse of a naked blonde emptying a safe in the home of reclusive, alcoholic millionaire Harold Everly. A few days later the blonde, Charlotee (sic) Fisher, falsely charges James with rape. Why? So that she and her creepy brother can be sure that James won't muck up their scheme: they're going to use what they found in that safe (mysterious blackmail material) to force Everly to marry fortune-hunter Charlotee. James, however, doesn't take kindly to being pushed around. So he visits Everly's Nevada ranch, offers to get the rich lush out of this jam, and is soon trailing the loathsome Fisher duo. But when he finds them, in desolate Needles, CA, they're already dead--with James neatly framed for the murder. And, in order to survive, James will have to play very rough indeed--taking possession of the Fishers' blackmail-biz library, uncovering the grim secrets in Everly's past, and arranging a nasty double-showdown at a deserted ranch. James is a bit too much of smug super-hero this time around, coolly resourceful under massive pressure; his supposed resemblance to Michael Caine is also tackily overworked. But this, like Snowball, is an above-average addition to the hardboiled-L.A. scene--with an unusually shaped plot and vividly pathetic/sleazy characters in both glitzy and stark settings.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1987
Publisher: Henry Holt