Good Policeman

Jerome Charyn, Author
Jerome Charyn, Author Mysterious Press $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-360-7
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Charyn's ( Secret Isaac ) high-energy, idiosyncratic prose is a perfect match for his hero, New York police commissioner Isaac Sidel, and his ricochet course through Manhattan's nine circles in his latest, complex adventure. The Justice Department has sent Isaac on a lecture tour to police departments across the country. But Isaac, impatient with inaction, frustrated by society's indifference and plagued by the tapeworm in his stomach, skips out in midtour and returns to New York where, upon sighting the woman who had been his first love when they were teenagers, he faints. Tracking ``Anastasia,'' Isaac upsets all sorts of powerful forces, from rival mob families to Mayor Becky Karp and the FBI, and, in a combination of midlife crisis, burn-out and pure romanticism, treads on enough toes to land in Riker's Island prison on trumped-up charges. His courtroom triumph is accomplished by sleight of plot all the more convincing for its off-handedness. While Isaac's circle--his daughter Marilyn the Wild, Cardinal Jim and the members of the Christy Mathewson Club, a cadre of baseball fans critical to the movable allegiances and betrayals of the plot--give color and life to this antic tale, it's the Commish himself, bewildered and believable, who keeps us turning those pages and, by following his heart, wins ours. (July)
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