"What a find author Robert J. Ray is …. Perhaps best of all, Mr. Ray has the rare ability to build tension bit by bit by bit and keep much of this throughout the last two-thirds of the book, almost without pause .... A crackerjack piece of plotting and writing and unhesitatingly recommended."
L. A. private eye Matt Murdock is back, celebrating a holiday in decidedly unfestive fashion in Merry Christmas, Murdock. Here the past rises up before Murdock in two ways.
Cindy Duke, a teen-ager who had maybe saved his life a couple of years earlier by driving him out of a burning canyon, asks him to find her father. He teaches in Wisconsin and came to L. A. in response to Cindy's cry for help, raged at his ex-wife, battered her brother's car with a baseball bat, ranged through a shopping mall in a failing search for Cindy, and disappeared.
Meanwhile, another teen-ager, Heather Blasingame, lies in a coma from a hit-and-run encounter with a vehicle at that same mall. She's the daughter of Jane Blasingame, feisty Texas state senator, and the senator (though with considerable reluctance) hires Murdock to supplement what seems an inept police investigation.
These two cases are of course related, and powerful interests -- not only Cindy's grandfather Wheeler Duke and Duke Construction -- are willing to go to about any lengths to keep Matt's nose out of these matters.
Vivid, active tale.
-- THE ARMCHAIR REVIEWER, Allen J. Hubin, Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall 1990.
Bloody Murdock: "The story never stops and the lushly decadent southern California life was never more so." --Publishers Weekly