There is a good story amidst the psychobabble

Toll Call 1ST Edition - Stephen Greenleaf

OK, so by Greenleaf standards, this one is not quite up to par. It's far above the run-of-the-mill detective stories and still belongs in the class with Ross MacDonald whose writing his resembles.


Tanner’s long-time secretary, Peggy, is getting some rather salacious phone calls. Then one night she’s pushed down the stars and Tanner intervenes. Unlike the other books I have read in the Tanner series, this one gets personal and perhaps a bit heavy on the side of psychobabble. Lots of speculation as to why Peggy might have "encouraged" the moron with a concomitant excessive dose of guilt, etc. I don’t remember Maugham's Of Human Bondage that well, but my goodness, Peggy seems unable to break with this guy. It’s never satisfactorily explained. I kept wondering, “now, why would you do that?” or “hey guys, cop time, bring in the heavies.”


On the other hand, there is a plot twist at the end I just did not see coming.


I like Ruthie. She’s a stitch who has the most crass similes and metaphors imaginable. "That warning's about as useless as a condom on a canary."