ROADSHOW by William Marshall

ROADSHOW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

By now followers of the Yellowthread Street (Hong Kong) procedurals have become accustomed to the fact that Feiffer, O'Yee, et al. will probably deal with an awfully peculiar case--and the fact that Marshall's narration will be quirky, comic/portentous, even a bit fractured or surreal. So this new installment, though distinctly odd by conventional mystery standards, may seem downright tame to series veterans. Someone, leading a shadowy gang of technicians, is blowing up one Hong Kong street after another, killing more than a few innocent bystanders in the process. Who is this implacable Someone (seen in periodic vignettes)--and what possible reason could he have for devastating a few roads in downtown H.K., playing havoc with the city's already grotesque traffic problems? Moody cop Harry Feiffer investigates haphazardly--talking to traffic officials, bomb-squad experts, even Hong Kong's resident streetnamer (a somewhat ugly American). Meanwhile, there are the usual Yellowthread St. sideshows: O'Yee reluctantly becomes attached to a stray dog; Spencer and Auden once again do some slapstick sleuthing--this time in a dubious Zen monastery; everyone--including the villains--succumbs to bouts of obsession or of Angst. And finally, after it becomes apparent that the crazy bombers are not so crazy (there's a huge money motive) city-government insiders, Feiffer stars in a shootout-showdown that prevents the dastardly scheme (gridlock!) from coming to fruition. Chunks of farce, slivers of pathos, tidbits of repartee, psychology, sociology, and exotica: the now-familiar Marshall collage--too thin and fanciful for traditional procedural-pleasure, a little labored in its arch stylishness, but an undeniably distinctive diversion for a special audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston