THE SILENT SALESMAN by Michael Z. Lewin
Kirkus Star

THE SILENT SALESMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Any case looks good to Albert Samson, Indianapolis' least employed detective, so he hops to it when Mrs. Dorothea Thomas asks him to find out why she's not allowed to visit her brother, a pharmaceuticals salesman-cum-researcher who's been in a coma since a lab explosion seven months ago. Aided (sort of) by his bossy (just like his ex-wife) visiting teenage daughter, Albert keeps pushing at the pharmaceuticals company bureaucrats and at the salesman's alcoholic wife until facades crack and secrets start spilling: the man in the coma is really dead, the doctors aren't doctors, and the researchers are (or think they are) F.B.I. agents, complete with letters from J. Edgar, assigned to catch heroin-trading gangsters. A touch too long and a shade too farfetched, perhaps, but Albert delivers his sardonic first-person guide-to-the-lower-depths with more real humor and far less effortful cuteness than most of his colleagues, and the horrors unfold with just the right soupcon of comedy-of-errors.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Knopf