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FLESH WOUNDS by Stephen Greenleaf

FLESH WOUNDS

By Stephen Greenleaf

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-81583-4
Publisher: Scribner

 Peggy Nettleton walked out of John Marshall Tanner's life six years ago, but Marsh still jumps when he hears her voice on the phone, even though she's asking a favor now--find Ted Evans's missing stepdaughter Nina, a knockout model--to pave the way for her marriage to Ted. Nothing daunted, Marsh hops a flight to Seattle, a town that bustles with street jewelers, sleazy photographers, and computer freaks. And freaks they are, too, as we can see from overfrequent parallel glimpses of Nina checking out on her manipulative lover Gary Richter, a user who thinks he's the next Robert Mapplethorpe, and Nina falling into the even more nefarious clutches of Jensen Lattimore and Chris Wellington, the warped geniuses behind DigiArt, a project that, it becomes abundantly clear, is bent on defacing Nina's soul by deforming her image. Even Gary Richter's corporeal murder can't hold a candle to this kind of soul-murder--except that Lattimore and Co. come across as little more than high-tech bogeymen with a virtual reality angle that the usually reliable Greenleaf (False Conception, 1994, etc.) never rises to. ``You're a hell of a detective, Marsh Tanner,'' Peggy tells her hero just before the final fadeout. Not this time. The big guy is a fifth wheel in the middle of his own high-concept case.