RAINY NORTH WOODS by Vince Kohler

RAINY NORTH WOODS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Impish first novel dealing with sexed-up, hack newspaperman Eldon Larkin's attempts to cover an elephant-stomping death for his tabloid-hearted editor Jimbo at the South Coast Sun and--more importantly to Eldon--make it with chunky, go-getter photographer Shelley, a new addition to the staff. The victim, Ngugen Xuan, lived in the Vietnamese community of Muskrat, where Eldon and Shelley head for ""color"" interviews. (Shelley's other agenda: to find great-uncle Ogden O. Sherwood, a bit actor who ""disappeared in 1932 to protest the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt."") There, they encounter a tower built by Pugh to sight space aliens; ""No Trespassing"" signs at the Patterson Farm; Big Foot footprints; terrified Vietnamese; some other bodies; the heady aroma of Thai sticks; clues about the mysterious Sherwood Forest Corporation; and eventually an attack-force led by the gung-ho Huey Bellows and sniper expert Troung Van Vinh--all of whom almost lose the day before beleaguered Sheriff Art Nola mounts his rescue (and walks into the sunset with the chunky girl). A funny, fresh, ramshackle introduction to marijuana farming, drug-running, and the local citizenry in Port Jerome, Nekaemas County, Oregon. The sex-starved Eldon makes a haplessly sleazy hero, and his bumbling detective work verges on some terrific Westlake funny business.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's