FALSE PROFIT by Robert Eversz


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Los Angeles ""corporate investigator"" Paul Marston (The Bottom Line is Murder) returns for a second murder/thievery mixture--which begins when Marston is hired on as a bodyguard by junk-bond super-broker Jack Burns. Is someone really out to kill slimy, glitzy Burns? So it seems: gunshots interrupt the entrepreneur's orgy with two prostitutes in his castle-like manse. Indeed, Burns soon turns up dead in his hot-tub, while Marston is being stalked by thugs who torture the p.i. to find out what he knows about Burns. Why? Because Burns' bond-brokerage was a huge scare: he bilked his celebrity clients of millions and stashed the loot. . .somewhere secret. The treasure-hunt leads Marston and sexy sidekick Angel (now working for one of those angry brokerage clients) to Paris--where Burns' bisexual girlfriend has fled with some of the missing cash. Several more killings ensue. And then it's back to L.A. for chases, near-fatal showdowns with three different villains, and a major (not-quite-plausible) revelation. With subplots centering on lesbianism and incest, this exercise in nouveau-hard-boiled occasionally seems cheaply melodramatic (as well as highly derivative). As in his debut, narrator Marston remains essentially faceless, generic. But, thanks largely to some zestily repulsive/pathetic supporting players (including a monstrous sleazeball lawyer), the steady action this time is more vividly colored and consistently engaging than the ho-hum of The Bottom Line Is Murder.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Viking