Heimer wrote West Wind, last year's Dick & Liz roman a clef, which did not quite measure up to Harold Robbins' dirt-slinging with Lana Turner in Where Love Has Gone. He apparently considers A Family Affair a serious novel and Just by coincidence the reader can't drive the picture of Bing Crosby from his mind while reading. In this instance, the furies of Aeschylus descend upon song-and-dance man Gordie Harris. Gordie is middle-aged, wears a hairpiece and has done some serious straight acting which won him an Oscar. He also has an alcoholic wife, a mistress and two sons, Slade and Chad. Slade is an upward mobile young stage director, while Chad is a ne'er-do-well mental case who has made a name for himself. Among Chad's misdemeanours are burglary of a Jewelry store, Jailbreaking, car theft, homicide, attempted patricide, and assorted didos. Gordie and Slade have almost lost every feeling toward Chad. During the novel he is at large while Gordie continues his career and Slade zips off to Paris. Highlights include Gordie's wife's sleeping-pill suicide and immolation; a man falling from a sixth-floor roof; fights, killings and a climax out of High Sierra with Chad cornered like Bogey on a mountaintop. This is a serious novel? The dialogue is unbelievably atrocious.