There Was a Little Girl Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1995
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Matthew Hope has been mysteriously shot--by whom? As he lies in a hospital bed in a near-coma, his friends try to discover why his professional involvement with a small circus had murderous results. To do this they must traverse a web of sinister acrobats, kinky animal trainers, and beautiful businesswomen--one of whom is a ruthless killer. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
After 40 years and more than 100 books, McBain (aka Evan Hunter) continues to amaze and entertain. In this 11th Matthew Hope novel (Mary, Mary), the hero spends most of his time in a semi-coma after being shot outside a bar on the seedy side of Calusa, Fla., despite his vow to avoid the criminal side of his law practice. Meanwhile, Hope's PI pals Warren Chambers and Toots Kiley, as well as police detective Morris Bloom, try to reconstruct Hope's previous week, probings that are intercut with flashbacks to Hope's own investigation of the years-old suicide of a circus star. What emerges is an intricate, lurid tale of sex, blackmail and murder fueled by greed. "Little girl" refers to the dead circus star, a fully developed woman only three feet tall. Or it may be an old slang term for cocaine, in high demand among certain circus folk. Or it may even stand for lesbian child abuse-or all of the above. The tracings and retracings of Hope's trail among a large, colorful, unsavory cast are fascinating, and the final revelations-about some very nasty people-are stunning. This is the kind of book we hope for from a grandmaster like McBain. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
To my surprise the novel was a little bit like a piece of gum when you first put it in, minty and refreshing. Then as you keep chewing it looses its appeal and then with even more chewing it is completely flavorless.
I also was not impressed by the racism, the judging and the language. Overall this book was a big disappointment.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Every once in a while -- three years or so --I decide I really should read a mystery novel or two to give myself another chance at appreciating the genre. One of this year's choices was There Was a Little Girl. I hate to beat up on the dead, but this book is deviously plotted, overly descriptive, with one completely pointless character, Matthew Hope's 14 year old daughter, and every other character firmly occupying a genre role -- ex-wife, best buddy, current lover, macho performer, etc, etc.
For me, a mystery should, with inconspicuously planted clues, involve the reader in its solution. That may be an unjust expectation, but here the reader trails around Hope's friends as they go from suspect to suspect, tracking the current crime and -- it develops -- an earlier crime. There are plenty of false leads, but no cleverly dropped information that would enable the perceptive reader to solve the crime. Instead, about thirty pages before the end we get told the Eureka! moment and all the rest is coda.
It took me 4/5 of the book before I really got into it, and I generously gave it 4 stars because I felt it finally came together. But I feel it is the weakest of the series.