Closet Bones

by Thomas Buun
Putnam’s, $8.95
When Rita Buehl’s husband disappears into the night on his yacht, just minutes after their unconventional wedding, she calls private detective John Ross to find him. Ross’s dogged but hardly dull-witted investigation uncovers an elaborate drug deal seasoned with prostitution, adultery, blackmail, and, of course, murder.
Thomas Bunn’s first novel offers a few suitably loony characters, some able dialogue, and a pace more than adequate to carry the reader over minor improbabilities of police and hospital procedure. His final confrontation scene is so thick with threats, accusations, and confessions, confusing an already complicated case, that one doubts his ability to tie up all the loose ends. But he seems to have done just that, with room left over for a touching postscript. Bunn’s technique, and to a certain extent his hero, are reminiscent of Ross Macdonald’s, a fact which should guarantee him an immediate following. —M.S.