Night of the Cat

James Schermerhorn, Author
James Schermerhorn, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (197p) ISBN 978-0-312-09887-2
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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Schermerhorn, a veteran newspaper reporter, introduces Caroline Lubick, a former third-grade teacher turned beat cop, in this competent, but less than invigorating debut set in San Francisco. In ill-fitting blues, with a hefty revolver and clunky no-slip shoes, Caroline takes to the night patrol like a fish to water. Late in the summer, a rapist who bites his victims preys mainly on elderly women. When he attacks a young girl in the ex-teacher's old school district and starts torching buildings, he earns extra enmity from ``Officer Carrie'' and her colleagues. Working closely with a new lieutenant (a courtly widower several years her senior), Caroline uncovers a clue that leads directly to the perpetrator. Despite careful attention to procedural detail, the plot has too few twists and turns to generate much suspense, and Schermerhorn's characters are too thinly drawn to carry the weight of the tale. (Oct.)
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