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Ad man Craven's first novel introduces an extremely likable detective, Donald Tremaine, a former champion surfer, now a Malibu PI living in a trailer by the beach. Tremaine's willingness to go with the flow and trust his intuition in a crisis proves useful in the cold-case murder of a genius advertising executive he investigates. There appear to be no unexplored leads left until he dives in with his unorthodox tactics. Sometimes Tremaine squeezes more out of witnesses than the police could, sometimes he squeezes policemen, and a lot of the time he simply lays out the available facts and lets his subconscious play with different arrangements until a new pattern appears. Readers may be as baffled as Tremaine at the novel's unexpected plot twists; however, the mystery's solution is neatly set up and emotionally satisfying. Rather than solemn detectives like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, Tremaine resembles Jim Rockford, a sometimes clumsy, usually canny, always cool dude. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.