BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD by Robert R. Irvine


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Irvine leaves his usual hero Bob Christopher (Jump Cut, etc.) to introduce Moroni Traveler, ex-football star, now a P.I. recently come home to Salt Lake City, a town rife with unhinged residents. Traveler is hired by Penny Varney to find her mother Martha, who left Mormon bigwig John Varney years ago and whose flow of letters has suddenly stopped. Church trouble-shooter Willis Tanner, an old friend, wants Martha found too--or so he says--but what is Varney cousin Reuben Dixon, a not quite licit document dealer, selling this time? Traveler heads for Lydel Springs, just over the Arizona border, where Martha is rumored to have lived with Earl Jordan, member of the polygamous Church of Zion Reborn, headed by a Brother Jacob. Traveler finds out what's become of Martha and Jordan, but the church has disappeared, and Jacob seems to have taken on a new identity and a new mission in life--one that's a threat to Penny, Traveler, and the Mormon Church. Meanwhile, there are other madmen with missions on the loose. They all come together in a final bloody confrontation, leaving Traveler to face another problem with yet another loony--his ever-vanishing girlfriend Claire. Interesting Mormon love adds some weight to a not-too-convincing plot and a hero who doesn't quite jell. Short of engrossing but readable.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Dodd, Mead