MAN WITH AN AXE by Jon A. Jackson


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Jackson, who doesn't seem able to let go of any of his beloved stable of Detroit cobs-and-robbers--Sgt. Fang Mulheisen, his late mentor Grootka, mob boss Carmine Busoni, and his successor Humphrey DiEbola--till he's drained them of every secret, hits on a honey of an idea to bring Grootka back from the grave: implicate him in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. This round begins when budding historian Agge Allyson comes to Mulheisen thinking of Grootka as a typical Detroit cop on whom she can hang her social history of police-community relations in the city. It soon turns out, in case anybody ever doubted it, that Grootka is anything but typical; in fact, he's one of the few people who knows what happened to Hoffa after he got a fateful lift with jazzman Tyrone Addison and Tyrone's wife Vera back in 1975, and he's dying (although dead) to tell Mulheisen all about it, or almost all, in a series of notebooks he's stashed away as carefully as clues in a treasure hunt. Mulheisen's search for the long-buried truth, while less fast and funny than his recent outings among Carmine's heirs and assigns (Dead Folks, 1996, etc.), becomes an unexpectedly elegiac meditation on history and the past. Oh, and if you think Hoffa was executed by his mobbed-up associates and laid to rest in the end zone of Giants Stadium, has Jackson got a wagonload of surprises for you.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly