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Kirkus ReviewsAs far as the Venice PD is concerned, the murder of lowlife dealer "Flower George" Mancini is a clear case of AVA, NHI—"asshole versus asshole, no human involved." So it's no big deal when Mancini's daughter Munch, the chief suspect in his killing, gives Sgt. Mace St. John the slip and disappears into the San Fernando Valley. But when the gun that shot Mancini is linked to a grisly series of dismemberments, Mace wishes he'd paid closer attention to Munch's moves while he had the chance. Even though he squeezes some personal details of her horrible life (her father got her hooked and repeatedly sold her for drugs) out of her attractive probation officer, he has no way of tracing her to Happy Jack's Auto Repair, where she's working as a lippy mechanic and assiduously building the new paper trail that'll bury her old identity for good. While Mace is wrestling with his own father's problems—a series of strokes have left Digger St. John sadly addled—another break in the case links the killings to a deadly, penicillin-resistant strain of gonorrhea, and puts Mace on Munch's trail once again. But does he really want to catch this gamine druggie when she's finding Jesus, going to NA meetings, and working wonders on the cars at Happy Jack's?
Munch's scenes pulse with such startling immediacy—she's definitely worth another round, even if kindly, sensitive Mace never returns—that first-timer Seranella makes you forget how familiar her story is.