JAMES E. MARTIN – The Flip Side of Life. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, hardcover, 1990. Avon, paperback, 1991.

   Cleveland-based PI Gil Disbro’s second case involves a missing college professor and his son, who may be the victim of grandparental kidnapping. There are also three murders before the book is finished, so all in all, in spite of the price tag [$21.95], you do get your money’s worth.

   Martin writes with nice clean prose, nothing too elegant, but he keeps the story moving. Some introspective passages, mostly with his live-in lady, add a bit to his character. It’s pretty good as a detective story too, even without a big surprise at the end.

— Reprinted from Mystery*File #22, June 1990.

      The Gil Disbro series —

The Mercy Trap (1989)
The Flip Side of Life (1990)
And Then You Die (1992)
A Fine and Private Place (1994)