A CRACKING OF SPINES by Roy Harley Lewis


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Lewis is a rare-book expert (cf. The Browser's Guide to Erotica, p. 1448), and the few flickers of interest in this first thriller come from the bibliophile background. Someone's been systematically robbing libraries and private collectors of rare-books, so narrator Matt Coll--bookshop-owner, ex-spy--is asked by a booksellers' group to investigate. The obvious firSt suspect, a nervous librarian, is indeed soon found dead at the scene of yet another crime. So the question then becomes: who's the ringleader? And the answer is all too clear--as Matt is roughed up, his old girlfriend kidnapped, etc. Also painfully predictable: the ultimate fate of Matt's romance with a beauteous book-collector (paging Mary Astor). Roughly modeled on the Dick Francis investigation/peril/expertise formula--but limp throughout, with even the book-world atmosphere sliding into (yawn) gangsters and drug-running.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's