This novel is supposed to be a
psychological thriller about a Boston lawyer named Jimmy Morrissey who is visited by two
FBI agents because his name and address was found on the back of a photograph of a
beautiful woman found in a dead serial killer's apartment.
Morrissey knows neither the killer nor the woman in the photograph and the FBI doesn't
seem to care one way or the other, he embarks on his own investigation which leads him to
Provincetown's gay community, where he comes to the conclusion the last victim was
killed by another killer. So we are left to plod painfully through this book, enduring
the search for clues that go nowhere and Morrissey's sudden convoluted
Fredrickson throws in a couple of subplots: Morrissey's
wife, Phyllis, is battling cancer but this wonderful, long-suffering woman puts up with
her husband running around Provincetown with a transvestite because she knows it's
something he just needs to do.
Then we have Morrissey's receptionist, the
daffy Taffy, who has boyfriend troubles after hooking up with a guy who answers her
personal ad that starts with "Fresh kill, still warm."
for a disabled cop-turned-mechanic who
has the intelligence of a lug nut to serve a
restraining order on the boyfriend. The boyfriend then beats the crap out of Taffy,
which results in Taffy loosing an eye. Morrissey offers his "girl Friday" these
comforting words as she lies in the hospital: "If I ever go on television, I can feature
you in one of my personal injury ads." Touching.
There are some attempts
at humor. The very first line of the book reads: Jimmy Morrissey looked like a million
bucks-in crumpled tens and twenties. A few pages in we are treated to a "joke" about
consensual relations with sheep.
By the end of the book, Morrissey himself
becomes an accessory to murder and decides he needs to "do the next right thing, whatever
Well, what is it? And what happens? Does Morrissey go to
jail? And what of the sainted Phyllis? Does she die? What about Taffy? Last we hear
from Taffy she is making jokes about getting different color glass eyes to coordinate
with her wacky outfits. Wait - are we left hanging intentionally, anxiously awaiting a
sequel? I hope not.