CALIFORNIA ROLL by Roger L. Simon

CALIFORNIA ROLL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I never sold out before because nobody ever asked me."" So says Moses Wine (The Big Fix, Peking Duck), now 40, and more than ready to give up the freelance shamus/hippie life for steady employment in corporate America: he's the new security chief at Silicon Valley's Tulip Computer Corp.--an Apple-like phenomenon with a whiz-kid mastermind called ""Wiz."" But very soon what seems to be a cushy job turns into a dangerous, convoluted murder-case/spy-chase. The dead man is Tulip's brilliant Danny Rigrod (""the Last Nerd), chief engineer for the enigmatic ""Black Widow project,"" with its even more enigmatic ""Blowfish"" program--which has disappeared! The thief seems to be Moses' new bedmate, secretary Laura Suzuki--so Moses follows her to Japan, where both Japanese tycoons and Russian spies are ready to kill for possession of the precious Blowfish disc. But, back in America, Moses becomes convinced that the murderer is a home-grown villain. A farfetched, compelling computer-theft/espionage tangle, then, but Simon fans will find raunchy tidbits and nuggets of hip comedy here and there--thanks to Moses' Aunt Sonya (a geriatric Trotskyite), a glitzy Zen master (""So, it is a wrap, no?""), and Moses' own hapless run-ins with computers and robotics.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1985
Publisher: Villard/Random House