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(11/04/2008) A Fix Like This by K. C. Constantine. New York. 1975. Saturday Review/Dutton. keywords: Mystery America Pennsylvania. 185 pages. Jacket design by Roy Kuhlman. 0841503761.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Rocksburg, Pennsylvania’s police chief, Mario Balzic, was in a fix. He and Dom Muscotti had made their rules sixteen years before. Mario would turn a blind eye to the sources of some of Dom’s income and would require none of it for himself or for his force. The conditions were ‘no whores, no dope, no muscle.’ But now, Fat Manny, one of Dom’s runners, is in the Conemaugh General Hospital with multiple stab wounds that would have killed anyone a hundred pounds lighter claims he fired Manny for booking on his own. But Mario does not like the smell of the situation. And Mario’s instincts are working well. Within twenty-four hours a brutally beaten man is in the hospital because Fat Manny’s brother, Tullio, attacked him with a baseball bat wrapped in a towel. Before the night is out, the victim is dead. It is Mario’s mother who finally ties the pieces together, but not in time to save the second victim of the muffled bat. Not until he has caught Tullio does Mario realize exactly what is behind all the brutality. And then serving the cause of justice becomes a very complicated and unpleasant problem. In this latest work, Constantine brings his incredible sensitivity to the western Pennsylvania scene in an intricate and masterful plot.   

 

 

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