Little, Brown, Jul 2003, 24.95, 316 pp.
In 1955 Los Angeles, Leora Hartman hires Fearless Jones to find Kit Mitchell, the father of her son, who simply vanished. Though the case seems quite simple, finding someone who appears to have just moved on, Fearless quickly concludes he needs some intellectual help and who better than a book lover would suffice? So he enlists his friend, book seller Paris Minton to help him.
However, the easy queries that his mousy friend makes soon prove perilous as everyone including the client lie and are willing to use, even perhaps kill, Fearless and Paris. Others have vanished too with the sleuthing duo learning they, including Kit, are probably all dead. The dynamic pair (at least one dynamo and one passive) soon finds themselves as part of the focus of a war between local VIPs, a cosmetics queen and a developer, which also makes Fearless and Paris important to LAPD.
Have no fear, FEAR ITSELF is a great historical mystery that not only brings to life pre-Dodger LA, but does so inside an exciting who-done-it. Though perhaps the novel has too much subterfuge (and consequently subplots), the keys to this terrific tale are the lead detectives. Fearless lives up to his name, as he is somewhat like many of the genre's hard boiled types. However, Paris brings freshness by not being a superhero preparing to break steel with his teeth. Instead he is an intelligent individual so frightened with the threats to his well being and from what he has learned about the affluent, fans including those in Brooklyn, will feel at home with him even if e Padres is winning the subway series a continent away.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner