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|KIRKUS REVIEW ON BANDERSNATCH|| |
|"Does anybody need a reason to start reading this venerable series now? If you do, try this: It's the freshest 48-year-old in town. "
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The latest challenge for the boys of the 87th Precinct
is the kidnapping of a rising rock star. Of course, Tamar
Valparaiso, 20, doesn't think of herself as a rocker;
what she does is more Contemporary Hit Radio-Pop.
And what she's done in her debut single and video is to
get assaulted by a masked Bandersnatch out of Lewis
As she's reenacting the video, complete with
luscious lip-synching, for an audience of 112 movers
and shakers handpicked by Bison Records mogul
Barney Loomis aboard the launch River Princess, three
intruders wearing their own masks -- Yasir Arafat,
Saddam Hussein, and George W. Bush -- burst onto
the scene, make off with tomorrow's diva, and toss the
mess onto the laps of Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes.
Even after an FBI Joint Task Force headed by
Carella's former friend, Lt. Corky Corcoran, muscles
into the case, Loomis insists Carella stay on it, and
he's on hand for the ransom drop, which goes off
without a hitch, but without results either. Witless Det.
Oliver Wendell Weeks of the 88th (Fat Ollie's Book,
2001) is on hand to contribute nothing but idiot-sage
remarks about how "ze clock, she is ticking," helps
make the adventure, for all its violence, so relaxed,
even playful, that it's more carnival than mystery.
Does anybody need a reason to start reading this
venerable series now? If you do, try this: It's the
freshest 48-year-old in town.