Charlie is fat, unpleasant NYPD detective Charlie Rope. The Ice Man is the killer who's been stabbing high-priced hookers through the heart with an ice pick And this pint-sized mystery is sheer, crude pulp--with a supposedly surprise twist which alert readers will have figured out by page 18. Charlie's investigation takes him to Harlem, to a posh hair salon, and mostly to the offices of Dr. Gifford Townsend, a gynecologist who treated (and patronized) all the victims. But the doctor isn't the culprit, of course, and Charlie baits a trap (with implausible use of a civilian) so that the real psycho-killer can be caught in the act--complete with a lengthy, and offensive, confession. Presumably Charlie is meant to be oddly lovable--as he bullies witnesses, eats like a pig, and (with stomach-turning sentimentality) befriends a hurt cat. But only undemanding pulp-crime readers with Neanderthal sensibilities will appreciate this TV-ish detective or his foully contrived first case.