DOUG ALLYN – Motown Underground. Lupe Garcia #2. St. Martin’s, hardcover, 1993. No paperback edition.

   Allyn is the author of short stories and a previous Garcia novel [The Cheerio Killings, St. Martin’s, 1989], but his main livelihood is leading and playing in a rock band. His Detroit reminds me of Solamita’s NYC, and like Solamita’s stories, his are filled with mean, hard people on both sides of the law.

   Garcia is a Detroit cop on leave after an explosion that injured him and killed others, and is thinking about quitting. An old friend dying of cancer asks his help in getting out of an arrangement with a crook who is taking over his nightclub, but before Garcia can do anything, the crook is killed and his friend commits suicide. The cops think Garcia killed the crook, and he finds himself between their rock and a gangster hard place.

   This is a rough story, full of mean people, bad language, and bloody violence. It’s well and tersely written, with good dialogue and mostly believable characters. The ending didn’t quite come off, though, and I’m not sure I liked any of the characters enough to give a damn.

— Reprinted from Ah, Sweet Mysteries #9, September 1993.

Bibliographic Note:   These were only the two recorded advenures of Lupe Garcia.