DEATH OF A GOD by S.T. Haymon
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A dark and compelling timbre pervades the author's new novel, with Angleby's Detective-Inspector Ben Jurnet (Ritual Murder, 1982) more personally involved than ever before as he seeks the killer of Loy Tanner, charismatic leader of the pop group Second Coming. Tanner, in Angleby for a university concert, had roots in the town where his body was found the morning after his performance. Mara Felsenstein, his mother, lived there with his invalid stepfather Leo, a Holocaust survivor. They eked out a living knitting the designs of Ben's on-again, off-again lover Miriam. Here, too, Tannet's first girlfriend, Francesca Falcone, had drowned--and, according to her mother Annie, not in the way recorded at the time. Meanwhile, Ben finds more hatred of than regret for Tanner as he explores the people in his life: his strange performing partners; his gay business-manager Lenny Bale; dwarf-like road-manager Guido Scarlett; and green-haired groupie Queenie King, whose drug-dealing father Punchy, found stabbed in his Punch and Judy tent on the beach in nearby Havenlea, is the killer's second victim. But Ben's intuition saves an intended third in the nick of time, and a dramatic confession winds things up. The portrait of Tanner as satanic destroyer doesn't quite jell, and there's a tendency to overdecorated, whimsical surfaces now and then; but few writers in the genre match Haymon's depth, richness, inventiveness or grace of style. A welcome addition to a distinguished oeuvre.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's