Picks and Pans Review: A Project Named Desire

updated 03/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by John William Corrington and Joyce H. Corrington

The setting for this dark, compelling murder mystery is New Orleans, and that exotic city has never been uglier or more fascinating. The hero is a black police captain named Rat Trapp. He grew up in the worst housing project in the city—Desire—and escaped by joining the Army and learning the cop's trade there. Twenty years earlier he had loved a beautiful girl, but to escape Desire she went off with a rich man and then to California, where she had a son. That son has now become a rock star, and during a performance in New Orleans he falls unconscious of a drug overdose. Is it attempted murder? The mother is still beautiful, and Trapp still loves her. But he's busy trying to put away an evil Mafioso-type kingpin, and a vital witness is gunned down. On another case, involving a drug dealer, Trapp teams up in a funny car chase with a redneck in a pickup, and the crook hasn't a chance. The big revelation at the end won't surprise most readers, but the Corringtons more than make up for that shortcoming with salty, mean dialogue and a vivid atmosphere. This husband-and-wife team, who live in New Orleans, wrote an earlier mystery, So Small a Carnival. They do this genre just right. (Viking, $14.95)

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