BOOKS: ALL LOST, SAVE HONOR

EUGENE IZZI'S DEATH WAS A MYSTERY, BUT THE TRUE CRIME MAY BE THE ROMAN A CLEF HE LEFT BEHIND

Eugene Izzi wrote pretty good detective stories. So they say. But he was never in the same class--business class, with every suit in every seat in every 747 out of O'Hare reading the same paperback--as John Grisham or Robert B. Parker. This reviewer never happened to read any of the 16 Izzi novels listed on the op-title page of his last thriller, A Matter of Honor (Avon; 424 pages; $24). A lot of other people didn't either.

It's hard to say now with any real assurance, but it may be that this galling half success, the insult of being known but...

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