The Lustful Ape by Russell Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Russell Gray was a pseudonym of Bruno Fischer and this novel of murder and blackmail gets off to a typical Fischer quick start as Dirk Hart, an ex-cop turned private detective, learns that his estranged wife was murdered right after visiting him in a negligee. Things get a bit confusing in the first few chapters as Fischer rapidly introduces a lot of characters and spins out sub-plots galore, but then he starts pulling all the threads together and we have ourselves a page turner. The title and back cover tease copy are misleading: there is a character named Ape, and he is lustful, but no more so than the other characters, and his lust has little to do with the story. This is all about a blackmail scheme that Dirk needs to unravel before he too ends up dead. Satisfying murder mystery. Also available as a Gold Medal paperback with the Bruno Fischer by line, and an ebook version is available from Prologue Books.
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