By Thomas Berger
In who's Teddy Villanova?, Mr. Berger turns for the 1st time to the private-eye mystery, as practiced through the masters Hammett and Chandler. The seedy workplace . . . the down-at-heel detective . . . and more.In who's Teddy Villanova?, the solid of characters would appear taken from the roster of recognized intercourse offenders maintained through the police of each significant American city—the monstrous sadist Gus Bakewell; Donald Washburn II, possibly the scion of a prosperous relatives, definitely an exhibitionist; old fashioned slumlord Sam Polidor; glossy, blonde Natalie Novotny, without doubt greater than the airline stewardess she pretends to be; pneumatic Peggy Tumulty, who hails from Queens; Russel Wren, reluctant hero and garrulous narrator of the story (in a rococo sort reminiscent through turns of Thomas DeQuincey, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Sir Thomas Malory, yet not anything like that of Thomas Berger's prior work); a covey of wicked college ladies; and a styful of undercover police officers, to call just some of the principals. yet over all of them falls the evil shadow of the elusive Teddy Villanova, grasp felony, undies fetishist, archenemy of social meliorism, and, although most likely a foreigner, a habitu\u00e9 of a diseased new york that Mr. Berger (who felt completely at domestic there) drew from the residing version earlier than rusticating himself on an island in Maine.