RICHARD ABSHIRE – Dallas Deception. PI Jack Kyle #3. William Morrow, hardcover, 1992. Penguin, paperback, 1993.

   Jack Kyle is one of those oh-so-common PI’s who’s barely squeaking by. He sleeps in his office, for example, and his secretary (named Della) works for the occupants of all the offices on the same floor as his. He’s hired on this case (pro bono) on behalf of a cop friend who’s currently laid up in the hospital. It seems that the daughter of the latter’s very close lady friend has been caught on videotape in some very X-rated activity, and not voluntarily.

   Kyle makes with the rough tough scene, gets the tape, makes sure it is the original (but of course the number of copies can’t be determined for sure, but the frightened Freddy, who orchestrated the scene, tells Kyle that that’s all there is. Maybe, maybe not, but Kyle later finds he has a problem to deal with when he finds Freddy dead, with the very naked daughter in the same room.

   That’s pretty much it. The basic plot line. When spelled out like that, it doesn’t seem like much — not to fill nearly 300 pages of small print in the paperback edition — but I haven’t yet gone into the motive, which verges into very nearly science fiction territory, of the “mad doctor” variety, or at least it was back in the early 1990s, and personally, I didn’t find it very interesting, I have to admit, though, it was certainly different.

   Jack Kyle, who tells the story in good old-fashioned first person, is a likeable lunk of a guy. When he’s actually working on the case, the action scenes are well-described and orchestrated, but the banter between Kyle and his friends and associates often come off as forced and lame. Maybe it was just me, but the best I can do on my H/B scale is a meager 4.7.

   That’s out of 10.

      The Jack Kyle series
1. Dallas Drop (1989)
2. Turnaround Jack (1990)
3. The Dallas Deception (1992)

[NOTE]: This is the last of four reviews that went missing during the loss of service undergone by this blog over this past weekend. Unfortunately all of the comments for it have permanently disappeared.