STREET LEVEL by Robert Truluck


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Think you’ve seen the last word in kidnapping? Truluck’s new twist—pre-baby, pre-fetus semen-napping—won him the 1999 St. Martin's/Private Eye Writers Best First Novel contest. Mean-spirited Orlando shamus Duncan Sloan is called to the home of wealthy would-be daddy Isaac Pike to find his child. The hitch? Pike's gay, and the semen sample he deposited at the fertility clinic awaiting a host mother was stolen. Now he's being hustled by Crystal Gail Johnston, a stylish babe with a flying eyeball tattoo, who claims she's pregnant. Is she? And where is she? Pike's domestic partner Steve, less than thrilled with the prospect of surrogate fatherhood, acts diffident, and Pike's sister, religious prude Carla, would rather any heirs in the family called her mommy than auntie. When Manuel Quesada, a clinic worker, is murdered, and Crystal and her look-alike, equally pregnant sister-in-law both vanish, Sloan relies on his sometime sweetie Natalie Poe for deep research, and bumps sneers and shoulder holsters with Jay Feingle, now working for Pike but formerly of Costa Security, owned by Sloan's ex-father-in-law. A slew of relatives will be butchered, an unexpected liaison will be revealed, a bad girl will be redeemed, and Pike will get his parenting wish by the time Sloan (“I don't have any friends”) calls it quits and gets down to his real business: being alone.

Choppy prose, hopped-up Hispanics, and a hero tough enough to gnaw shoe leather as he walks down Florida's mean streets.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-22626-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000