Cover image for A fistful of empty
A fistful of empty
Schutz, Benjamin M.
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Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1991.
Physical Description:
192 pages ; 22 cm
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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Washington, D.C., private eye Leo Haggerty and his creator, clinical psychologist Schutz, belong at the top of any contemporary "best hard-boiled" list. This case, Haggerty's fifth, pits the detective against an unknown assailant who wants a computer disk Haggerty obtained while bringing in a bail jumper. Haggerty's refusal to stay off the street--he was actually helping a friend catch the jumper--leads to the brutal rape of his significant other, Samantha. Haggerty's bounty-hunting pal is also killed before he can unravel the case, which involves pharmaceutical research and government contracts. Haggerty solves the case, of course, but at profound personal expense. Like all the best PIs, Haggerty can take a solid punch, but a blow to the heart is much more damaging than one to the chin. ~--Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

A socko opening ushers in a workmanlike novel in PI Leo Haggerty's fifth outing (after Embrace the Wolf ). Despite the plea of girlfriend Samantha, who is anxious to talk with him about something, Haggerty works late to help out bounty-hunter Arnie Kendall. But the fugitive they apprehend hides a key in Kendall's car, leading to a break-in and to Samantha's brutal rape at Haggerty's house. Only at the hospital does Haggerty learn that Samantha had in fact been pregnant, and that the baby has now been lost. This is the story's most affecting moment; it is followed immediately by Kendall's murder. Understandably, Haggerty resolves to avenge the tragedies himself and does not intend to share any information with the police. He finds the key, and comes into possession of a floppy disk that contains data involving an experimental AIDS remedy. Tracking down the owner of the disk takes up the rest of the tale and, as in any real-life investigation, the work is tedious. A more serious problem is Haggerty's two-dimensional character. As a result, Shutz's denouement, and its ostensibly meaningful epilogue, ring flat. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Washington, D.C., private detective Leo Haggerty ( The Things We Do for Love , Embrace the Wolf , etc.) becomes desperately obsessed with revenge after a hired psychopath trashes his house, rapes his live-in love, and murders his best friend. Haggerty soon learns that the murderer is looking for a missing computer disk worth millions to its unscrupulous owners. Without much thought of emotional consequences, Haggerty single-mindedly pursues a showdown. Strongly and narrowly focused, this successful series addition runs swiftly and smoothly to a touching conclusion. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.