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by Ken Follett

Pub Date: April 25th, 1990
ISBN: 0590425064
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

An author of adult best-sellers attempts to cross over with a routine mystery (first published in Britain in 1976). Izzie's father is trying to raise money to reopen an old film studio—behind the flat where Izzie's friend Mick lives—when word comes that a developer, Norton Wheeler, is seeking permission to raze both the studio and the fiats. Sneaking into the studio, Mick and Izzie spy on a group of tough-talking men with a suitcase of money. Could they be the infamous Disguise Gang, bank robbers who use makeup rather than masks? Then Mick locates Wheeler's house and finds a makeup brash plus a deposit slip from a recently robbed bank; 20 pages later it occurs to him that Wheeler might be connected to the Gang! Comparing robberies to a schedule that a neighbor just happens to have kept of traffic in and out of the studio, Mick reaches the stunning conclusion that the Disguise Gang uses the studio for a hide-out! This less-than-dazzling detective work culminates in a nearly drama-free climax: the bad guys nab Izzie just before they are themselves nabbed by the police. These characters have little individuality, and Follett makes no apparent effort to surprise or challenge readers. A disappointment.