Kim Wozencraft, Author
Kim Wozencraft, Author Random House (NY) $18.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-394-57671-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
With an unquestionably authoritative narrative voice, first novelist Wozencraft commands readers into her harrowing story of a young narcotics agent's descent into a hell of chemical dependency and moral ambiguity. While a part-time college student, 21-year-old Kristen Cates is recruited to work in an undercover drug operation with the Pasadena, Tex., police. She's ``a natural,'' insists her partner Jim Raynor, a captain who assures her that she, like him and others before her, can stay ``cool'' even though she must learn to smoke, swallow or shoot up dope in order to make the buys that will convict the dealers. She and Jim become lovers and move to another operation in Beaumont in an effort to bring in a drug charge against a well-known, well-protected local pornographer, an attempt that will backfire and bring them to trial instead. This action proceeds with suspense and smooth complexity; the real conflict, however, occurs within Kristen as, watching Jim deny the extent of his addiction, she acknowledges her dependency even while compiling evidence against the people about whom she realizes: ``The difference between them and me was that I understood there was no difference.'' In total command of her material, its language and procedures, and without resort to sensationalism, Wozencraft, a former undercover cop, writes of a world in which pain--physical, emotional and spiritual--is nearly palpable. Major/ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
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