Cover image for Body scissors
Body scissors
Doolittle, Jerome.
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New York : Pocket Books, [1990]

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Consider Body Scissors a grittier, harder-edged Ross Thomas novel, and you have a sense of what Doolittle--a former White House speechwriter--is up to. Throw in Robert B. Parker's Boston locale, his hero's smart mouth and propensity for mayhem, and the sordid, skeleton-filled family closets of the rich and powerful that Raymond Chandler kept opening, and you have an even better idea. J. Alden Kellicott needs to be "woodshedded" before being named as a nominee for secretary of state. Investigator Tom Bethany is hired to sift through the Harvard professor's life to make sure no Eagleton- or Ferraro-like skeletons litter his closet. Of course there is one, a real hummer involving murder, incest, and child pornography. Bethany is a quirky, engaging new character and his jaundiced view of politics (Did you know that George Schultz has a Princeton tiger tattooed on his butt?) will make the reader hope Doolittle is hard at work on number two. ~--Thomas Gaughan

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this realistic, sharply penned mystery, freelance ``researcher'' Tom Bethany, hired to ferret out potential embarrassments in the life of a Boston Brahmin, turns up the perpetrator of an unspeakable murder. A Vietnam veteran who has made the U.S. Olympic wrestling team, Bethany is asked to perform a routine background check on scholarly Alden Kellicott, who is the likely choice of a presidential hopeful for Secretary of State. Bethany learns the blueblood married into his current station and, early in life, displayed a certain cunning. More intriguing are hints that Kellicott frequented adult bookstores in Boston's ``Combat Zone,'' although the powerful nominee says he had simply been searching for his runaway daughter, Emily, who had turned to drugs and prostitution in her teens and was eventually murdered by her pimp, according to Kellicott and the Boston Public Defender. But Bethany's investigation reveals Emily, neither whore nor drug fiend, was an aspiring artist, and the alleged pimp, whose initials were found sliced into her breasts, turns out to be not at all as expected. Shortly before Kellicott's nomination is to be announced, Bethany turns to extralegal methods in his search for the truth, leading to a riveting, unpredictable resolution. Doolittle's ( The Bombing Officer ) stylized dialogue can wear thin but does not diminish his vividly drawn players. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Tom Bethany, security consultant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, narrates this commendable first mystery about a wealthy professor hoping to become the next Secretary of State. Hired to research the man's background for any hint of scandal, Bethany can find nothing wrong until he looks into the unsolved murder of the professor's wayward daughter. The more involved he becomes with the case, the more he realizes that the police fumbled their investigation. Bethany, a Vietnam veteran who distrusts government, is a sturdy and methodical--if somewhat unorthodox--protagonist made human by his love for a married woman. Solid procedure, realistic environment, interesting-if-unspectacular plot recommend this to most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.