Line of Duty

Michael Grant, Author Doubleday Books $20 (359p) ISBN 978-0-385-41967-3
Twenty-three-year NYPD veteran Grant is being billed by his publisher as ``the police novelist of the '90s,'' the logical successor to Joseph Wambaugh and William Caunitz. But while it is clear that the author of this competent if uninvolving first novel is writing from an insider's viewpoint, the narrative lacks the steady flow of raucous, off-color humor and wild anecdotes that has come to define the genre. When a well-known drug dealer is summarily executed by two men who might well be policemen, career cop Brian Shannon is assigned to conduct a covert investigation in an uneasy alliance with Internal Affairs officer Alex Rose. Similar murders of a sleazy lawyer and an uptown art dealer eventually lead them to police captain Patrick Stone, head of the city's elite antidrug unit and a rising departmental star. Unfortunately, Stone's corruption--which is the heart of the story--is difficult to accept, and his ability to draw an entire team of other cops into his web defies belief. Finally, while the requisite personal problems in the investigators' private lives are introduced, these never have much passion or impact, and are not resolved. As far as the police novel goes, Grant sings the song but sadly misses the melody. 50,000 first printing; paperback rights to Bantam. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-553-29550-4
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