Simon & Schuster, Jan 2002, 24.00, 336 pp.
On his wedding day to Beth Reinhardt, English Professor Charles Muller fails to show up for the ceremony. Two of the guests Harding and his lover Alison try to console Beth. Harding, an ex-con who plays sleuth without a license, begins searching for Charles because Alison wants him to do this for her friend Beth.
Harding quickly learns that the Chicago police seek to question the missing Charles on two murder investigations that seem linked. Harding concludes that there is more to this case then just a frightened groom fleeing matrimony. He thinks the tie in goes back to the days when Charles and Alison were University of Chicago undergraduates living in the Grand Terrace dorm. Now Harding worries that his beloved Alison may also be in peril.
The third Harding tale, KISS IT GOODBYE, is suggestive of the hard boiled detective stories though the lead relationship feels more romantic then the “death ecstasy” sexual edge of the previous books. The secondary cast is an eccentric ensemble who keeps the plot running wild and making life quite complex for the hero. Still with a engaging story line, a fabulous cast, and a vivid Ferris Bueller style tour of Chicago, Harding owns John Wessel's novel as he brings most of the subplots together into a cohesive taut tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner