FADE OUT by Robert Upton

FADE OUT

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Amos McGuffin, the boozy San Francisco gumshoe of Who'd Want to Kill Old George? (1976), goes to L.A. this time--to look for artsy film-producer Ben Volper, an apparent suicide-by-drowning. . . but with no sign of a corpse. Amos talks to Ben's widow, bosomy star Jenny Lang, to his circle of longtime colleague/cronies--director Isaac Stein, writer David Hochman, agent Judy Sloan, actor Mark Drumm. And, after getting tortured by Amos' money-man, a sleek Bel-Air Arab, Amos figures out that Ben and friends were all involved in cocaine dealing for the Arab supplier: Ben was murdered for drug-ring reasons, it seems. But why are the cops obstructing Amos' sleuthing? Because that Arab is really an anti-Khomeini financier with CIA links! So a frustrated Amos is pressured into giving up on the case, returning to his bottle in Frisco--until a resurfacing clue inspires him to hit L. A. again, with an entirely different theory about Ben's death. . . and two other murders. Sounds overplotted? It certainly is--with a particularly farfetched wrap-up of under-motivated cold-blooded killers. But Amos somehow remains amused and easygoing throughout these hyper doings; and the result is breezily painless, with just a gentle whiff of parody and a few nice Rockford Files-ish running gags.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Viking