William J. Caunitz, Author Crown Publishers $23 (308p) ISBN 978-0-517-57497-3
The gritty realism of Caunitz's new novel (after Cleopatra Gold), as in his earlier ones, reflects the more than two decades he spent with the NYPD. Caunitz's cops sound and act like the real thing, and his villains, while occasionally over the top, are fetchingly sinister (only the extravagant, mostly illicit sex here comes off as more fantasy than reportage). The murder of small-time hood Beansy Rutolo in the Brooklyn neighborhood dubbed ``Pigtown'' has a special significance for Lieutenant Matthew Stuart: the deceased's unexpected testimony once saved Matt's father from being kicked off the job for political reasons. Now the effort to track down Beansy's killers is revealing corruption that reaches deep into the Department-and goes back years. Matt is struggling with assorted personal demons too-the tragedy that ended his marriage; his secret relationship with a superior officer known as the ``Ice Maiden''; and an attempt to frame him for dereliction of duty. Caunitz's prose is flat-footed, weighed down with mundane detail, and his theme of ancient, festering corruption was old hat when Teddy Roosevelt was the city's police commissioner. Still, his feel for cops and cons matches anyone's, as evidenced once again by this flawed but still engaging novel, a police blotter come to life. Author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-268-9
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Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-7860-1484-2
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