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FULL CONTACT by Robert J. Randisi



Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's

Not to be confused with J. C. S. Smith's middle-aged, richly characterized sleuth Jacoby, Randisi's shamus Miles Jacoby--now moving from paperback originals into hard-cover--is a standard-issue, hardboiled tough guy, an ex-boxer in N.Y.C. This time Miles has two simultaneous cases--which, more predictably than in most such set-ups, turn out to be secretly connected. Case #1: finding out who really killed tacky playboy/gambler Alan Cross, since Jacoby doesn't believe (as do the cops) that it was honorable bookie Nok Woo Lee. Case #2: locating missing karate student Melanie Saberhagen, 17--who fairly soon turns up dead, floating in the Hudson. So Jacoby spends time at Melanie's karate school, where one of her classmates is surprisingly hostile; he also looks up all the other bookies whom Cross dealt with. But the big break in the case comes when Jacoby discovers that Cross was producing porno-movies, that several of the karate-class girls were involved--and, one or two corpses later, that the two original murders are indeed closely (if not too plausibly) connected. Sluggishly paced, short on class or style, but passable fare for old-school fans of the hard-boiled school--complete with a cutesy, injoke tribute to colleague Max Allan Collins, who did his in-jokey bit in Kill Your Darlings, p. 827.