Books: Mortal Sins

DUTCH SHEA, JR. by John Gregory Dunne Linden Press/Simon & Schuster 352 pages; $15.95

Readers who enjoyed John Gregory Dunne's True Confessions (1977) know the author as a connoisseur of the raffish, the macabre and the sleazy. They also know how deftly Dunne snatches sentiment from the jaws of cynicism, and how he can cut a plot line with fine malice. But in his new novel, Dutch Shea, Jr., sentiment is savagely chewed and the free association of memory is substituted for plot.

This is a rather bold style for a novel that...

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