THE INVESTIGATOR by Richard Moore

THE INVESTIGATOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A shadowy nerve-twanger--with darkly comic overtones--that follows the bizarre march of logic in the extravagantly inventive mind of a paranoid schizophrenic (or is he?) as he beavers on toward homicide. In a handsome old suburb in New England live the well-to-do offspring of a long-deceased neurosurgeon: staid Edward, good- looking Clara, and Archibald Bromley. All three are single and middle-aged, and Clara and Edward are most respectable, while Archie--``jobless, sexless'' and suspender-less (he has trouble keeping his pants up)--is, in the neighbors' view, ``breathtakingly peculiar.'' Archie becomes more than simply ``peculiar,'' however, when an angry tirade from an old acquaintance sets his demons astir and he knows he's ``in danger of some kind.'' Nothing, he decides, is what it seems; house and home could be an illusion. Stage- managed by whom? His siblings! And why? Because their cherishing love of their hapless little brother is a front to hide years of incest! But Archie is on the prowl for truth, and he must find proof. It doesn't take long, of course, for Edward and Clara to begin to ``have a vague feeling that [Archie] had become somehow dangerous.'' Before the marvelous ironic close, and Archie's preparation for his ``last independent act,'' there'll be a mad gala of epistemological inner dialogue, a post-poetry-reading party--at which Archie explains for an involved audience why he must kill his siblings--and a brief hour or so of romance. Other pratfalls (and pantfalls) occur between moments of fury and despair. An unusual and haunting first novel, both wryly removed and yet close to the bone.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-934257-77-9
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991




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