A KILLING IN REAL ESTATE by Robert Upton

A KILLING IN REAL ESTATE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The dumb title hides one of Upton's neatest Amos McGuffin mysteries, a nice recovery from the melodramatic doldrums of The FabergÉ Egg (1988). Now in New York trying to persuade his stage-struck ex-wife Marilyn to return their daughter Hillary to S.F., McGuffin's approached by real-estate mogul Victor Belmont with a case he doesn't want (find out who paid ex-ballplayer Angelo Tied to plant a bomb in Belmont's limo, killing himself in the process), at a fee he can't turn down ($1000 a day, plus the services of Andre Hersh, the Big Apple's nastiest divorce lawyer). The bombing and its sequel both look routine--soon after Angelo's widow links Angelo to mob lawyer Conrad Daniels and rival developer Laird Strauss, she's found dead herself; and when Daniels's accusations of embezzlement make Belmont's playboy brother Johnny the #l suspect, Johnny naturally claims he's been set up by his big brother. But after some well-turned timeouts for consultations with Hersh, spats with Marilyn, and amateur theatricals, the focus narrows to a single teasing question--who's teamed up with whom to screw over whom?--with the few candidates deftly changing places every few pages. Maybe too many twists toward the end--Upton's plot keeps twitching like a corpse even after the coup de grace--but an agreeable workout for McGuffin anyway.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 1990
Publisher: Dutton