NOTHING BURNS IN HELL by Philip José Farmer


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After an extended prologue in which Tom Corbie, Peoria’s most marginal p.i., takes $1,000 for backing up an unidentified client who’s making a questionable payoff in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night--and then Corbie ends up getting held prisoner by a pair of backwoods lowlifes and their fearsome shared wife--Farmer gets down to semi-serious business. Simon Grettirson Alliger, the moneybags of Peoria’s first family, wants a thorough, nasty background check on Diana Alliger, the new daughter-in-law he’s convinced is fouling his son Roger’s nest. Simon’s already edgy because he’s barely survived a recent attack by bees, and he fears his allergies would make any encore his last; his wife Alexandra suffers from asthma and a dozen other life-threatening conditions; and his mother Faith, though still sprightly at 92, obviously isn’t long for this world. All will die, colorfully, with an escort of several others, and Corbie will end up with a lot more wear on him than any fledgling shamus since Harry Angel. And, yes, in case you were worried, Corbie’s anonymous first client will make a notable reentry at just the right moment. Science-fiction veteran Farmer crosses a pair of plots from Raymond Chandler and Rex Stout with a hundred names--Sheridan Mutts, Lemangelo Elseed, Artemis Moondeer--from the Crazytown White Pages to produce some high-spirited, pro forma pulp aimed at readers who wonder how Indiana Jones would’ve worked as a private eye.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-86470-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1998