The Killing Zone

Rex Burns, Author
Rex Burns, Author Viking Books $17.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-670-81955-3
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Fans of Denver P.D. detective Gabe Wager (The Alvarez Journal, Ground Money) will be pleased to find him easing up on angst and getting back to police procedure. When black City Councilman Green is found shot to death in an empty lot, Wager gets the case. He also gets pressure, some of it dumb, from a new lieutenant. Wager, still mourning his dead lover Jo, must also cope with a new partner, Lester Stubbs. During the murder investigation Wager finds that Green, a successful furniture dealer, was apparently loved by everyone. As racial tensions in Denver rise Wager hears of a Council zoning change that's ""a little bit irregular,'' which he knows is ``like being just a little bit pregnant.'' And then there's the matter of Green's white mistress. Burns has written a first-rate procedural that includes a wonderful cast of characters, a sharp look at ``progress'' and the different, subtle brands of racism (Wager is half Chicano), police politics and a stunning riot scene. The rich, satisfying plot is propelled by Burns's smooth style. A must for procedural fans or anyone interested in big-city life. Mysterious Book Club alternate. (April)
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