Janet Dawson Take a Number

ISBN 13: 9780449907658

Take a Number

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9780449907658: Take a Number
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"Intelligent and determined, Jeri holds her own among the ranks of impressive female detectives." Publishers Weekly
A Jeri Howard mystery by the author of "Till the Old Men Die."
In Alameda County, east of San Francisco, the all-American pastimes of adultery, divorce, and mindless violence prosper -- and Petty Officer First Class Sam Raynor, USN, fits right in. Private investigator Jeri Howard is working for Raynor's battered wife, who wants not only a divorce but half of everything Raynor's got. It turns out Raynor's hidden some big bucks from Uncle Sam.
And that's not all he's hidden. Barely concealed behind his blond and muscled good looks is a vicious psychopath, whose wife-battering episodes are only the tip of an ugly iceberg. It seems Petty Officer Raynor's been getting away with murder . . . or close to it. And now that Jeri is on his trail, can murder be far behind?
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From Kirkus Reviews:

As soon as her Navy husband's hitch in Guam is up, battered wife Ruth Raynor, back in Oakland, splits with their daughter Wendy and hires p.i. Jeri Howard (Kindred Crimes, 1990) to pry Sam Raynor loose from half the $100,000 he's socked away somewhere. When the usual bank inquiries turn up nothing, Jeri figures Sam must have stashed the money with a friend or relative. But before she can track it down, Sam gets himself shot in Ruth's building, and the police arrest Ruth for his murder, not realizing that Sam made so many enemies--his first wife Denise Padillo, his girlfriends Tiffany Collins and Claudia Yancy, their three husbands, to begin with--that people were queuing up for the chance to kill him. Unfortunately, the large cast's cars- -Tiffany's stolen Mercedes and fallback Subaru (``Thumper''), Claudia's Nissan, the orange-and-black tigermobile of Sam's hell- raising sidekick Harlan Pettibone--are as personable as their owners. Too much of a good thing: enough suspects and motives for a whole rogues' gallery, without the kind of imaginative vision that might pull it all together the way Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky have done. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Wife abuse and the psychology of victims are themes of the third case for Oakland, Calif., female PI Jeri Howard, after Till the Old Men Die. Ruth Raynor, planning to divorce her husband, Navy first-class petty officer Sam Raynor, asks Jeri to look for the $100,000 that she believes Sam has hidden. Although Sam denies the sum's existence, Ruth had seen a bank statement on which it appeared; under California divorce law, she is entitled to half of it. As Jeri follows standard procedures for tracing money--checking bank accounts, looking for aliases, seeking third parties who might be holding the funds--she sees Sam's new girlfriend driving a new, expensive car. After the car is reported stolen and a major insurance claim is filed, Jeri discovers that Sam's past conceals a previously unknown former wife who had divorced him for abuse. Jeri's next task, however, is hunting for evidence to clear Ruth of Sam's murder. Intelligent and determined, Jeri holds her own among the ranks of impressive female detectives.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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