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 Y ou're a dick. A private dick. The name on your office window says you're SPILLADE INVESTIGATIONS. In most Private Eye's offices the writing on the window is backwards, done from the outside. You painted yours from the inside so you can read it okay. Strange, but business has dropped off since you did it.

Business is about to pick up though. The obligatory female enters your office one rainy night and casts the obligatory stunningly beautiful silhouette on the door. You just knew there was something different about this woman. Maybe it was the way she kicked the door off its hinges instead of using the handle. She tells you her story. You listen. Well, it's easier that way. Seems she'd come to New York to meet her father. She hadn't seen him in years, but he'd made good in the Big Apple and arranged a reunion meal at Joe's Diner. That was two weeks ago. She's been waiting ever since and he still hasn't showed. Meanwhile she's suffering from coffee poisoning.

You take the case. You also take the cheque for a hundred bucks she gives you on account. Maybe you should put it in the office safe, the one that's large and pig-shaped. The tail makes for a good handle but they could have picked a better keyhole. Anyhow, the safe is locked, and your bunch of skeleton keys don't fit it. Some private eye.

As you head out of the door a dog arrives and dumps something on the carpet. He should take lessons in good manners from the pig. No, it's okay, it's another cheque, a bit of a photograph, and a note. The note is in code, though the word 'Bollards' is pretty conspicuous. No trouble decoding it. You're Sam Spillade, after all, even if it does say M. Hammer on your lighter.

Outside on the streets, New York's waiting for you. So is your car. So is someone else judging by what falls out of the door: a red stick with a fuse on the end. This is dynamite. Maybe you can stick the stick somewhere else later. The car is an easy-start model - just join the two pieces of wire together. Where to go? Maybe Joe's Diner. Maybe the address on your bank book. Maybe first you better lock the office before you leave. Security? No, anyone sees that pig you'll be laughed out of business. Where do you think you are, Central Pork?

What's happening at the bank? Nothing, dumbo, it's six a.m. What's happening at Joe's Diner? Even less. Time to visit the men's room.

You want some low-down? In The Big Sleaze you got three parts, you got Fergus McNeill, you got laughs, you got maybe not the hardest problems you ever had to solve, you got some fancy Quill stuff, you got some chick with the cute name of Anna Popkess, you got... you got no Judith Child... what's this, what kinda trick they trying to play, these Delta 4 guys? Better load up Sceptical 3 and check through the Teletext news pages... never mind the Irish jokes, never mind the Piranha compo, never mind your weird eating habits (I mean who can ever prefer a Wendy to a Whopper?)... we wanna know what's happening... Judith Child is... well, I guess that's bad news and good news. What is it? Buy the game, dumbo, buy the game.



Reviewed by

Mike Gerrard




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