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Batten, Jack.

Toronto, Macmillan, 1987. 266pp, cloth, $22.95, $22.95, ISBN 0-7715-9339-2. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Ted Monkhouse

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

Lawyer Jack Batten reviews movies for the CBC in Toronto. So does Annie, criminal lawyer Crang's girl, in this delightful comedy-mystery. There is a steady stream of colourful and unsavoury underworld characters in this novel about a too-lucrative garbage and disposal business. But the delight in reading this book is Crang, the confident, fearless, wise-cracking lawyer, who enjoys practicing law in a seamy world of punks, two-bit criminals, and blue bloods.

Batten's previous best selling books, Judges (McMillan, 1986), Lawyers* and In Court, ** are among the sixteen he has written. But he has an original hero in Crang and further books will have an eager audience. Batten has hit the mark in his easy-going style with just the right mix of humour, innuendo, skepticism, and irreverence. The settings are real, the characters familiar, and story circumstances not unexpected. Because of Batten's legal background a realism rings through.

This smile-a-minute read deserves promotion for a rainy day or a day on the beach. Echoes of Sam Spade, Charlie Sailer, and Mike Hammer will come through. Good fun. Recommended.

Ted Monkhouse, Guelph, Ont.

*Reviewed vol. IX/4 May 1981 p.266.
**Reviewed vol. XI/5 Sept.1983 p.212.

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