HEADS YOU LOSE by Robert B. Gillespie


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Ralph Simmons, the retired executive who was both fugitive-from-justice and amateur sleuth in the largely endearing Print-Out (1983), is involved in a more routine, faintly black-comic whodunit this time: the decapitation of his Long Island, N.Y., neighbor, David M. Black--""fun-loving millionaire lawyer,"" popular law-school prof, and swinging divorc‚. There are no less than 16 suspects in the area, some of them with awfully contrived motives: Black's live-in girlfriend, whose father was ruined by Black's ruthless lawyering; a cuckolded neighbor; a local crazy, sent to prison by D.A. Black; assorted law-students whom Black entertained--but rejected sexually; Black's sullen son; his ex-wife; the gangster-father of a boy killed by Black's power-boat; etc. So, while another ugly killing occurs, Ralph works his way through the suspects--arriving at the strained psycho-solution after brushes with death and a long night of hallucinations (thanks to a villainous LSD-dose). Talky, breezily farfetched doings--with only sporadic flickers of charm from narrator Ralph and wife/sidekick Lillian.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
Publisher: Dodd, Mead