Sunshine Enemi

K. C. Constantine, Author
K. C. Constantine, Author Mysterious Press $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-288-4
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
It seems a law of life in Constantine's ( Joey's Case ) ninth mystery that bad things happen at the same time. On the same day, the mother of tough-talking Rocksburg, Pa., police chief Mario Balzic has a serious stroke and the mutilated body of Louis Blaskevich is discovered behind the local pornographic bookstore. Balzic's problem is coping with--and keeping separate--his anxiety and the demands of the case. The murderer's mother chooses to make contact as Balzic's own mother's condition worsens; when the latter dies, his abusive father crashes the wake. The crime itself takes up only a small portion of the story that has at its heart Balzic's devotion to his admirable and feisty ``Ma,'' especially as she is recalled by her son to his friends and the motley assortment of hoods and informants who frequent police headquarters. In another appealing quirk of plot, the real villain turns out not to be the actual killer. This is less police procedural than the direct, affecting story of a crisis that forces the gruff, likable chief to confront mortality in a personal way. (May)
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