EVERYTHING BUT THE SQUEAL by Timothy Hallinan

EVERYTHING BUT THE SQUEAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A kiddie-porn second case for LA. private eye Simeon Grist (The Four Last Things, 1989) finds him staking out the Oki-Burger hangout as he looks for 13-year-old runaway Aimee Sorrell. Grist borrows Jessica, the savvy teen-age daughter of his good friends Annie and Wyatt, to use as bait, but not much happens until Mountain, a coffee-shop manager, remembers that ""Dorothy"" was enthusiastic about a Hollywood agent. The tip leads Grist and Jessica to Brussells' Sprouts, whose ""clients"" are listed worldwide in the Academy Players' Directory, whose ""talent"" is regularly swapped (via a food-chain distribution set-up), and whose secretary, a prissy little man named Birdie, has a secret basement room where he ""teaches"" the new kids everything they need to know. Grist kidnaps Woofers, Birdie's beloved pooch, in order to wrest a confession, but Birdie commits suicide, and Mrs. Brussells takes it on the lam with her crooked cop hireling. Grist and Mountain storm the warehouse, rally the druggedout kiddies and bring down the curtain--but not before Grist takes a lot of heat. Fast-paced action, with grim views of runaway exploiters and their physically abused prey. Jessica and Grist, meanwhile, make for a nonstereotypical sleuthing duo.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1990
Publisher: New American Library