DEVIL'S HEAVEN by Thomas Adcock


Email this review


 Back from battling his ancestral ghosts in Ireland (Drown All the Dogs, 1994), Neil Hockaday, NYPD, is married to his longtime lover, advertising exec Ruby Flagg, or as married as an Irish gypsy ceremony can make them. He's also on the wagon (courtesy of six weeks in rehab), on restricted duty, on furlough. Meanwhile, a series of gruesome S/M killings sparks outrage from the city's gay community and smiling indifference from homophobic Sex Crimes Sgt. Joseph (King Kong) Kowalski. Too bad Hock's been shelved, because the next victim--Frederick Crosby, Ruby's woman-hating old boss at Schuyler, Foster & Crosby--turns up naked, except for a leather discipline mask, nailed to his kitchen floor with a cryptically poetic message on the corpse. Hiring out together with his rabbi (cop lingo for mentor) Capt. Davy Mogaill, who's also enjoying a furlough, to SF&C, Hock dutifully follows the trail through the Big Apple's wild side to the Ladies Auxiliary, a club owned by behemoth transvestite Big Irma, where a too-vocal activist will be shot to death before his eyes. But it takes a shocking third murder at the sex club Devil's Heaven, complete with decorous message and indecorous violence, to tie the case sickeningly, and for keeps, to the ad agency that's just hired Ruby back. A Lysol-and-leather cocktail with the bad-cop atmosphere as thick and acrid as the smell of disinfectant. Though Hock spends too long wandering among the fleshpots, you feel his triumph coursing through your own veins when he not only solves the case (unexpectedly logical and elegant work here) but survives.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1995
ISBN: 0-671-89778-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1994