Arthur Rosenfeld, Author . Forge $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-87871-9

In his anticipated follow-up to the well- received A Cure for Gravity, Rosenfeld profiles what many see as the lowest form of federal agent, a U.S. postal inspector. Cocky narrator Max Diamond investigates Boca Raton's crooked postmen, mail fraud, letter bombs, mail scams and threats against postal employees, getting no respect from citizens or the police. The grandson of Jewish immigrants, an Ivy League grad and a tai chi chuan master, Diamond leads a balanced, Taoist lifestyle that's disturbed when he uncovers a Peru–to–South Florida distribution network for gruesome child porn and snuff films. The illegal video pipeline seems to connect with Cuco O'Burke, an internationally powerful yet low-profile Latino crime lord operating out of the well-to-do neighborhood of Little Havana. Complicating his obsession with solving what appears to be an impossible case, two of Diamond's old Yale buddies and fellow members of the secret Lyre & Stone society have just died in mysterious and particularly macabre circumstances, throwing their South Beach law business with Yalie Cliff Hughes into chaos. Diamond's mentally and physically draining investigation of the porn ring and his undercover probe of what he believes are the murders of his friends is softened only by the presences of old college flame Phayle Tollard, in town on business, and seductress Guiomary O'Burke, daughter of the kingpin Diamond is gunning to bust. Yet it is the increasingly suspect Phayle and an ugly truth hidden by the Lyre & Stone brotherhood that threaten to ruin Diamond. Exploring cop-struggling-against-criminal-desire themes hauntingly reminiscent of Hammett's Red Harvest, Rosenfeld crafts a high-action suspense thriller with plenty of wry humor and cultural commentary. Local author appearances.(July)

Reviewed on: 07/02/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7653-0909-9
Ebook - 978-0-7653-8566-6
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