Books: Fish and Foul Play


by PETER BENCHLEY 301 pages. Doubleday. $7.95.

THE WEST END HORROR by NICHOLAS MEYER 222 pages. Dutton. $7.95.

Outlandishly successful pop novelists rarely take the money and run. Against all the nudgings of reason, they insist on plunging once more. The critical risk is great, of course¬óreviewers and remaindered colleagues are poised to carp. Yet the built-in publicity is there waiting for them, and with it, perhaps, the long-suffering reader.

This year the book trade's hot-stove league has throbbed with several questions: Can Peter Benchley snatch defeat from the Jaws of victory?...

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