The Fourth Durango is not your ordinary Durango. It's not in Spain, or Mexico, and it's not a ski town in the Colorado Rockies, although Durangos do exist in all of those places. This Durango has an industry, albeit a rather odd one-it is a hideout business, a place where people pay to find sanctuary from former friends and associates who are either trying to kill them, or have them killed. Into this Durango comes a former chief justice of a state supreme court, followed by son-in-law Kelly Vines to act as his emissary to the beautiful and savvy mayor. Following them come a false priest, and a run of murders. It takes a Ross Thomas to stir these characters into a witty and ingenious mix readers will not be able to -and certainly would not want to-resist.
A tiny, godforsaken California town named Durango is the setting for Thomas's ( Out on the Rim ) tense new novel, a suspense story laced with wry wit. The town's mayor, plucky Barbara Huckins, and its chief of police, Sid Fork, are part-time lovers and ex-San Francisco hippies who drifted into Durango 20 years back. The action begins when Jack Adair, an acid-tongued judge falsely accused of taking a big bribe, drops into Durango to hide from whoever wants him silenced. Poor Adair already has a daughter in a mental hospital, a disbarred attorney for a son-in-law and a gay son who committed suicide (or was it murder?). Barbara and Sid, an unlikely duo assisted by no less than four detectives, follow a trail warm with corpses to a brutal killer who dresses up as a priest or a plumber. The socko climax takes place on the Fourth of July, with readers kept in the dark right through the fireworks. In this offbeat diversion, Thomas builds suspense and character almost casually, once again proving himself a master of the crime thriller. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate; Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections.
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The plot had a lot of twists and turns. Totally unpredictable. Very well written.