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George Szanto.

Scarborough (ON), Avon Books, c!982, 1984.
230pp, paper, $3.95.
ISBN 0-380-68213-3.


Reviewed by Ted Monkhouse.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

Not Working means, among other things, becoming a house-husband. The hero, Joe Levy and his wife, Helly, switch roles when his job as a cop in San Diego turns sour. The move to Dobie, Wyoming is so that Helly can teach. Their high school age daughter becomes a kidnap victim because dad investigates the slightly suspicious death of her Hispanic boyfriend's father. The closed-ness of a small town mitigates against the Levy family's ever being fully accepted. It is a familiar but always intriguing story. Most avid mystery readers could put faces to the characters.

What sets this story apart is author Szanto's style. The use of the flashback or change of scene is numerous (often two or three per page) and each is quite short and matter-of-fact. This brevity leaves no fear of having to remember the thread of the previous passage. The flat-out statements of fact charge the reader to insert most of the emotional response. As a bedside book, it has enough natural breaks in the print that you will not have to stay up half the night to finish the chapter but can read numerous, three or four minute snippets.

You know you are starting a somewhat different paperback from page one because it begins on a left hand page and the print is broken, not always by a wide white space but a large black dot whenever the writer wishes to shift gears. These unusual conventions add to this different but common story.

A caution for school library purchasers; there are some explicit sex scenes.

Ted Monkhouse, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, ON.
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