Peeper by Loren D Estleman  » Books  »
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  • She paid him to get rid of the body she wanted no police, no publicity

    • by Jacinth K Lee
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      Peeper was written by Loren D Estleman and published by Bantam Books, 1990.

      A funny book, not comical but queer; as this is a story written about a slob - not only in appearance but in character. Ralph Poteet, an unsuccessful detective, had been demoted to the position of filing clerk, since his boss died and the widow took over the agency.

      One night he was called upon by his upstairs neighbor, a hooker, who told him that her client, a monsignor had died


      in her bed. She paid him to get rid of the body she wanted no police, no publicity.

      Poteet first took some photos for future blackmailing. He called the bishop, who sent someone called Carpenter to help him remove the body.

      A few days later, Poteet called the bishop about the scandalous photos, and he was offered a lifetime job, but the bishop was murdered before Poteet’s job could be secured. Moreover, his hooker neighbor was seriously injured in an ...


      • explosion at her apartment.

        Poteet himself was threatened by persons unknown, plus the police were shadowing him as well. Then the hooker’s sister turned up and asked Poteet to investigate her sister’s case; and not being able to afford his rates, she offered favors-in-kind.

        Poteet soon found himself entangled in a conspiracy that involved the Justice Department and the Attorney General. It is a silly story but rather quaint and entertaining.

        There were a number of twists in the story

        that had me suspecting the elusive Carpenter to be the killer; then he revealed that he was a reporter, investigating the attorney-general; the sister turned out to be working for the baddies. I really find the protagonist derisive, unethical and simply sleaze personified.

        No one trusted him; definitely not his old partner or his boss. Poteet seemed to be a loser.

        In short, I would prefer a serial murderer over a sleazeball; at least the murderers would have their own peculiar set of principles.



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