END OF THE LINE by Shannon OCork


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A second case, again engagingly styled but amateurishly plotted, for N.Y. news-photographer T. T. Baldwin (Sports Freak)--who's sent, with boozy colleague Floyd, to cover a shark-hunting tourney out of Scrimshaw Township on Long Island. Their ulterior motive (on orders of the managing editor): to investigate the disappearance of a priceless necklace belonging to the zany mother of local squire Gordon Kittridge. . . and the disappearance of Orthodox-Jewish diamond-dealer Avram Stein, who was dealing with Kittridge for the necklace. But more serious crime promptly surfaces--when, on T.T.'s first shark expedition, accountant Jeremy Junker falls overboard and winds up dead via sea-wasp venom. And from there on the overcrowded narrative heaps up melodrama on all sides: the reappearance of Stein, now revealed (sans oarlocks) as a government agent; Stein's flaming affair with sexy marina owner Elsie (whose husband beats her); a corrupt local cop who's in a smuggling scam with Kittridge; the movements of two copies of that necklace; plus the death of local gossip columnist Georgia Keene, Kittridge's supposed fiancÉe. Finally, then, there's a wild midnight shark-hunt finale to unmask the culprit. But it leaves an annoying clutch of loose ends--and, throughout, readers who want to enjoy T.T.'s likable, snappy presence will have to put up with OCork's sloppy storytelling and her kitchen-sink approach to gore, sex, and plot.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's