Created by Ken Pettus
Say Goodbye to April is a relatively hard-to-find paperback original published by Knightsbridge back in 1991, and narrated by TUG CASH, an ex-cop who got out on a disability discharge, and does occasional P.I work for his former partner Checkers, who's now retired and running a detective agency.
The April in the title is April Tyson, who may (or may not) be the long-lost missing granddaughter of an aging, reclusive multi-millionaire. When the lawyer representing April, who she just happens to be sleeping with, is found murdered, she calls on the Checkers agency for help.
Toss into the mix a gang of hoodlums and drug-runners that the lawyer seems to have been mixed up with, plus all the assorted hangers-on and suckholes, including a sleazy right-wing evangelist, circling April's increasingly frail grandfather and you've got some kindl of a story going on, full of sudden plot twists, more than a few jolts and a surprising amount of violence. One of the reasons for the carnage, it turns out, is plain bad luck -- and the fact that Tug isn't the brightest Crayola in the box. Although, to his credit, he does seem at least self-aware enough to realize it:
I examined open-air shows with their geegaw merchandise and browsed a bookstore, buying a paperback private eye novel to see how a smart investigator operated. I sat on a bench and read three chapters. It was depressing. The fictional PI, as dumb as a brick wall, was still smarter than I.
Ken Pettus had a long career writing for television (including scripts for Bonanza, Combat!, Branded, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, The Green Hornet, Mission: Impossible, The High Chaparral, Hawaii Five-O, Cannon, Battlestar Galactica, Magnum P.I., and Shannon), but as far as we can tell, Say Goodbye to April was his only novel.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, adapted (with permission) from an article by Steve Lewis which originally appeared in The Mystery*File.
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