SCAM by Parnell Hall


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 Wendy and Janet, ambulance-chasing lawyer Richard Rosenberg's twimbo secretaries, are on vacation, and Richard's penny-ante p.i. Stanley Hastings has a rare case of his own. That's the extent of the good news. The bad news is that investment advisor Cranston Pritchert is the world's worst client. He's convinced that the bosomy blond who picked him up at a singles bar and left him holding his head in a nearby gutter trying to remember what happened next was setting him up in some way that was related to a proxy fight for control of Philip Greenberg Investments. But Stanley has to battle his own client for every ounce of cooperation. Worse, he suspects whiny Pritchert's started to manufacture evidence (why?) indicating a scam against himself. Worse still, Pritchert is killed, and the NYPD--not Stanley's usual nemesis, Sgt. MacAullif, but an even nastier cop who seems to have a personal grudge against MacAullif and everybody he's ever met--is convinced that Stanley is the killer. It doesn't help when they find evidence against Stanley on the scene of two related homicides. But related how? As usual, Hall (Trial, 1996, etc.), like Rumpelstiltskin, takes slender material that would serve another writer for a middling short story and spins a gossamer web of riddles by turns puzzling, suspenseful, and hilarious.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1997
ISBN: 0-89296-623-8
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997


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