Share this article

print logo


Truck Shot By Jim Stinson
211 pages, $17.95.
What made California novelist Jim Stinson's "Double Exposure" and "Low Angles" unusually readable was their 50-50 mixture of amateur crime detecting and insightful looks at independent filmmaking. But that balance is broken in "Truck Shot"; its villainy dominates the marquee, and filmmaking comes off as only a minor second feature.

As a result, Stinson's third mystery starring aspiring movie director-producer Stoney Winston merits only a lukewarm review, especially because the criminality tackled by Winston is, by today's Ivan Boesky standards, strictly ho-hum: a contest rip-off and real estate hustle that involve the down-at-the-heels film school where our hero teaches.

However, despite shortchanging the story's involvement with the world of low-budget Hollywood, the author keeps sleuth Winston as brash and brassy as ever, quick with the quip, and often highly amusing as he and his students borrow shamelessly -- and hilariously -- from dialogue exchanges out of old Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields flicks.

And, yes, "Truck Shot" includes several of those offbeat characters Stoney Winston insists upon associating with.

There are no comments - be the first to comment