THE CREEP by Susan Dodson


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A creep, the kind who plies little girls with candy and car rides, has been stalking a Pittsburgh suburb, and 16-year-old Brina Randall is determined to stop him. Her catch-the-creep crusade starts after the latest victim is Brina's ten-year-old babysitting charge whose story about a ""funny man"" was dismissed by Brina as just a bit of tale-telling. To atone for her guilt, scrawny, babyish-looking Brina offers her services to the police; and under the aegis of kind detective Wallace (who later becomes widowed Mom's live-in boyfriend) she becomes a decoy. With a few weeks of intensive training under her belt, Brina is sent on the street, and after one near miss at apprehending the molester (it's the police who manage to bungle the capture), Brina eventually sets up a confrontation--all alone, natch, with no police backup--and collars the creep. As with all but the best of detective stories, there are contrivances here that don't stand up under close scrutiny, and Dodson's windy narrative slows down what should have been a breathless climax. The subplot, which involves Brina's metamorphosis from shy loner to a veritable Miss Congeniality, is far too pat and predictable. But farfetched as it is, the M.O. of Brina's training and police work is intriguing, and this sort of crime rubs such a raw nerve that it could keep you reading till the creep is safe behind bars.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1979
Publisher: Four Winds