THE RANDOM FACTOR by Linda J. & Barry Tannenbaum Larosa


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Question: What do you do when you want to write a crime-suspenser and haven't got an even remotely human story to fill a book with? Answer: Go for sheer quantity, body-count-wise. As one of the cops says late in the game here, ""I can't believe it. . . . They've killed over fifty people."" No, we can't believe it either. Nor can we believe who ""they"" are--four bored, middle-aged ex-Army N.Y. executives who lunch at Lutèce--or that they kill all those people (about one every five pages) just for fun. Since the varied, grisly murders are committed as part of a Parcheesi-like game (color- and territory-coordinated), there's no logical connection amongst them. So the good guys--criminologist Noah Aikman and his district-attorney daughter Alexa--spend a lot of time chasing false clues and feeding data into computers. Some of this deductive boo-hah is vaguely interesting, but only so long as you can forget the totally implausible premise. ""You don't think men like that exist. . . . Men who could make death a sport? You don't think so, huh?"" No, guys, not without a lot stronger characterization and a lot better writing than have gone into this flat death-arama.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday