THE CHICANO WAR by William Campbell Gault


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Here, the war of the title is pretty tame--and so is this story of L.A. gangsters trying to take over affluent San Valdesto, where ex-footballer, ex-private-eye Brock Callahan, now with a small inherited fortune, does his civic bit working with a club for underprivileged boys. Now, one of them--gifted auto-mechanic Pete Chavez--has disappeared, and Brock, decorator wife Jan, and feisty housekeeper, Mrs. Casey, temporarily adopt his younger brother, Juan, while Brock follows up scanty leads to Pete's whereabouts. The local crime fringe show their displeasure with an outside mob by doing a little arson and murder; Brock runs his own war with brutish police sergeant Karl Kranski; Pete Chavez turns up; gangster boss Chris Andropolos is found dead; then local heavy Richardo Cortez is being railroaded for the murder--until Brock steps in and finds the real killer. The author manages to smother any incipient excitement in all this, though, with a chronicle of colorless conversations, meals and characters--unfortunately, his well-meaning hero the dullest among them.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1986
Publisher: Walker