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DESPERATE HIGHWAYS by John Maddox  Roberts


by John Maddox Roberts

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-17176-5
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Since shamus Gabe Treloar (The Ghost of Saigon, 1996, etc.) can't say no to his boss, he drops his caseload in Knoxville and takes off after doting Randall (Kit) Carson's daughter Sibyl, who seems to have traded grad school—despite her all-American credentials—for the dubious company of used-car con artist Nick Switzer. A look at some diaries and photographs suggest that Sibyl's been reading too much Nietzsche and posing for some very odd pictures (she and Switzer in doctors' whites?), but they don't tell Gabe where she is. So Gabe hits the desperate highways for points west. His odyssey will take him to Memphis (where he spends a few expensive minutes of quality time with the corpse of Pat Jennings, one of Switzer's late friends), Oklahoma City (where he exchanges pleasantries with Jasper Holt, a bounty hunter who's also looking for Switzer), Santa Fe (where he learns the sinister meaning of the ``DTT'' logo carved into Jennings's face), Albuquerque (where he hears just how dangerous the other folks who are looking for Switzer are), and Las Vegas (where hunters and hunted meet in a memorable Mexican standoff that does nothing to clear the books) before careening to a percussive climax high in the Sierras. Gabe's third keeps the action moving along smartly with barely a stop for gas. Only the homiletics on how white supremacists are different from neo-Nazis and how good girls go bad break what Gabe aptly calls the ``total paranoia immersion.''