LOST DAUGHTER by Michael Cormany


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Cormany's mystery debut comes 20 years too late for most of his characters, who seem mired in late-60's/early-70's stereotypes: sloshing the booze, popping the valiums, whites, whatever. Shrimp-of-a-private-eye Kroger is hired by Terrance Dawson to find his daughter Asia; when Kruger returns her the next day, they arrive to find her Bible-thumping mom thumping Asia's boyfriend Douglas on the living-room couch. The day after, someone shoots Douglas, Asia takes off again, and Kruger is rehired to bring her back to dad. Sister May, a small-time drag dealer, says Asia left with Mitchell Floridge, an old boyfriend, but won't say where; brother Terry's drying out in a clinic and not much use to anyone; but Boccinelli--the bookkeeper who's skimming from Dawson and his partner Conover's DawCon, Inc.,--signs him out of the clinic for unspecified reasons. Soon Terry is dead, too, as is his religious nympho mom. Meanwhile, a ""Mr. Smith"" wants Kruger to find his babe, a rose to beat up the hapless, compulsive pilltaking detective. And crooked cop Cross gets his licks in by trying to frame Kruger for Terry's murder. Many beatings, pills, and car rides Tater, however, Kruger works it all out. Drug-bleary hero, predictable plotting, and a solution that comes because ""so many people involved got killed [that] picking the guilty one got easy."" Skippable.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1988
Publisher: Lyle Stuart