HUGH PENTECOST – Random Killer. Dodd Mead, hardcover, 1979. Hardcover reprint: Detective Book Club, 3-in-1 edition, October 1979. Paperback: Dell, Scene of the Crime Mystery #24, 1981.

   Although fictional, the Hotel Beaumont, located in New York City, is the model that all the world’s other fine luxury hotels must pattern themselves after. It is indeed a small city within itself, and Pierre Chambrun’s staff keeps everything working like clockwork.

   Until, that is, the week a crazed killer’s series of strangulation murders has the patrons packing up and leaving for elsewhere in panic. A pattern does at last emerge, one that connects the several deaths to that of a ski instructor in Colorado two years earlier.

   In spite of the enormity of the coincidence required to bring all the right people together at the same time in the same hotel — Chambrun’s — Pentecost’s flair for adapting headline-making drama keeps the story alive and continually in motion.

Rating: B minus.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 6, Nov/Dec 1979 (slightly revised). This review also appeared earlier in the Hartford Courant.