HEAD GAMES by Thomas B. Cavanagh


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What happened to the missing teen idol?

Ex-cop Mike Garrity, who tells his story in noir-lite first person, is understandably consumed by his recently diagnosed brain tumor, which he names Bob, the better to confront and sometimes talk to it. Mike gets an unexpected job offer from fellow ex-cop George Neuheisel, currently working as bodyguard for the superstar pop group Boyz Klub. TJ, the cutest of the Boyz and their lead singer, has vanished, and Mike agrees to track him down discreetly. Now Mike has two significant secrets he needs to keep from his teenage daughter Jennifer, though on some level he accepted the job in order to get closer to her. Their strained relationship is softened by Mike’s second ex-wife Camilla, who has become his best friend and Jennifer’s faux big sis. The sleuthing plays out against the backdrop of this fraught personal story. Fellow Klub members are tight-lipped, and TJ’s mother Arlene, for whom he has provided lavishly, expresses only mild concern. Everyone seems to kowtow to the big boss, Global Talent chief Eli Elizondo, with whom TJ occasionally clashed. A major break comes when Mike ferrets out TJ’s verboten relationship with fellow Klubber Miguel. The big question remains: Is TJ’s disappearance an escape or foul play?

Though the writing could be sharper, Cavanagh’s ambitious debut has a terrific premise and many appealing touches, including an unbeatable cliffhanger.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2007
ISBN: 0-312-36132-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2006