The Fathers' Club

The Fathers' Club

by Jon Katz
     
 

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For men in the 90s, the world is full of pressure, difficult choices, and the struggle to build and maintain friendships. For the men in Jon Katz's fourth Suburban Detective mystery, it is also a world fraught with betrayal, greed, and massive fraud—not to mention murder.

As The Fathers' Club opens, Kit Deleeuw is feeling particularly embattled in

Overview

For men in the 90s, the world is full of pressure, difficult choices, and the struggle to build and maintain friendships. For the men in Jon Katz's fourth Suburban Detective mystery, it is also a world fraught with betrayal, greed, and massive fraud—not to mention murder.

As The Fathers' Club opens, Kit Deleeuw is feeling particularly embattled in his dual roles as detective and family man: His son is in trouble at school, his wife is away much of the time, and he is feeling out of place in the affluent suburb of Rochambeau. Having seen too much of the dark side of suburban life, he worries about becoming one of those men with too many acquaintances and too few friends. Into the midst of this slough of despond walks Linda Lewis, who wants Kit to investigate her ex-husband Dale. Normally a dutiful father, Dale has fallen behind in his child support payments, and hasn't called, visited the kids, or responded to Linda's calls in long enough to have her worried. When the deadbeat Dad turns up dead in his office, Kit decides to infiltrate the men's group Dale belonged to, hoping to find some clue. Dismissive of such groups as gatherings of narcissistic drumbeaters, he is surprised to find the men not only warm and welcoming, but full of good advice.

In the end, Kit finds himself not only involved with Russian mobsters, federal investigators, and the victim's infidelity, but also a lot wiser about the need men have to talk to one another, about his relationship with his son, and about his place in the child-crazed town of Rochambeau.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Katz's suburban detective, last seen in The Last Housewife, is an appealing, original sleuth, in many ways the antithesis of the hard-boiled PI. Kit DeLeeuw (pronounced De-loo), the married father of two, operates out of an office in the American Way mall in suburban Rochambeau, N.J., and avoids a fight whenever possible. But he is as fiercely loyal to his clients and as dogged in pursuit of the truth as his hard-drinking, womanizing, gun-toting literary forebears. Linda Lewis hires him to find her ex-husband, Dale, a housing developer who has lost contact with his kids and missed support payments. Kit finds Dale without any trouble-dead. Asked by Linda to investigate further, Kit infiltrates the Fathers' Club, the support group to which Dale had belonged. Meanwhile, Kit juggles his fledgling PI career with his roles as parent to rebellious teenager Ben and still sweet, preteen Emily, and partner to his wife, Jane, whose dual work and school schedule leaves him a virtual single parent. Even as Kit uncovers fraud, greed and betrayal among club members, some of their blunt, straight talk offers him insight into problems he's having with Ben. Both cast and puzzle hold readers' attention here. (June)FYI: Katz, media critic for Wired magazine, has a nonfiction book, Virtuous Reality, coming out from Random House next January.
Kirkus Reviews
"I secretly think of much of my work as family-saving," says Kit Deleeuw, the American Way Mall detective (The Last Housewife, 1995, etc.). But it's too late for him to save Linda Lewis and the ex who's stopped phoning the kids or sending support: When Kit goes after Dale Lewis, he finds him dead, followed shortly by Linda herself, killed in an apparent carjacking. The cops accept the coincidence, but Kit—convinced, quite without reason, that the key to Dale's murder lies in the men's support group he attended—sets about infiltrating the group, using as a pretext the true-enough fact that his son Ben's just been suspended for smoking pot in school. Kit, overwhelmed by his infatuation with Linda and his bewilderment over Ben, reacts by dispensing fatherly advice to every other grownup in sight, including the reader ("Hitting is out. Nurturing is in")—until Katz, suddenly remembering that his hero's supposed to be conducting a murder investigation, rushes to tie Dale's land-development schemes in to a Jersey City mobster, rattle the Fathers' Club cages for skeletons, and produce a sensitive, deeply unsatisfying solution.

As casually plotted as the Suburban Detective's first three adventures, but without the edge that made their exotic New Jersey fauna so compelling. This time, Kit's homiletics come across as just plain gassy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553575361
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/31/1997
Series:
Suburban Detective Mysteries Series
Pages:
257
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.85(d)

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