THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED by Joseph Hansen

THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter (Skin flick, Death Claims, etc.) is now looking into the death of famous, jet-hopping journalist Adam Streeter, who seems to have shot himself in his posh marina condo. Brandstetter smells murder, however--especially since all of Streeter's notes have vanished: notes related to Los Inocentes, a Salvador-like country famous for its ""death squads""--even now that the chief tyrant, a general known as ""the Butcher,"" has disappeared in exile. Brandstetter, conscientious as ever, pursues a few obvious (but intriguing) red herrings: the angry clergyman whose journalist-son went to Los Inocentes (and violent death) on Streeter's advice; Streeter's mistreated Asian mistress and her new lover; Streeter's greedy assistant. But fairly soon, after connecting Streeter's death to that of a young refugee from Los Inocentes, Brandstetter is sure that he's up against the mini-army of a political fanatic--and the faintly cartoonish finale features a talky showdown with the evil mastermind. . .and last-minute rescue by a good-guy squad. This predictable melodrama-wind-up is disappointing by Hansen standards. And the relationship between Brandstetter and younger lover Cecil (who's forever cooking and fretting) has become a bit cloyingly domestic. But this remains an above-average series, distinguished by memorable supporting players, crisp dialogue, and Brandstetter's somber, wry, intelligent presence.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Henry Holt