MIDNIGHT HAUL by Max Allan Collins


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Young journalism student vs. evil toxic-waste conspirators--in a shrill, predictable mini-thriller that never goes beyond a competent replay of the now-familiar message/scenario. Crane, a 22-year-old Iowan, is very skeptical when he hears that his New Jersey fiancÉe Mary Beth has committed suicide: he arrives at the funeral looking for evidence of murder. But Crane, a conservative sort, doesn't consider corporate conspiracy--not until he meets radical, sexy divorcÉe Boone, who's convinced that Mary Beth was murdered because of her summer secretarial job at Kemco: the big local company that has Agent Orange in its past and lots of toxic waste in its present. Soon, then, despite lingering reservations (""I just don't buy that naive leftist bullshit""), a radicalized Crane is joining Boone--in bed, in believing that Kemco is responsible for five recent ""suicides,"" and in trying to catch Kemco in the act of illegally dumping its toxic waste. And there'll be recurring violence--nasty truckers nearly bury cardboard-hero Crane alive--before the not-quite-convincing windup. Lively but flat and rather juvenile work from a very uneven producer--one who has touched on issues and activism in a far more sophisticated manner elsewhere (cf. A Shroud for Aquarius).

Pub Date: Dec. 12th, 1986
Publisher: Countryman