Dead End Game

Christopher Newman, Author Putnam Publishing Group $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-13952-9
This seventh entry in Newman's Joe Dante/NYPD series ( Precinct Command ) is the first to appear in hardcover, and it's a corker. Kansas City Royals rookie pitcher and phenom Willie Cintron looks as if he's going to knock the Yankees out of the American League playoffs--until he's found dead of a heroin overdose on the morning of the final game. The accepted wisdom is that Cintron's background (the mean streets of Washington Heights and a slew of drug-dealing friends and relatives) caught up with him, but readers know straight off that he was murdered, and soon enough a Daily News columnist, insisting that the ballplayer was clean, is raising enough pressure to bring Detective Lieutenant Dante and his partner, Jumbo Richardson, on to the case. In short order, the cops are in the thick of drug users, drug dealers grand and petty, a ring of car thieves, an assortment of media types and two femmes who are very fatales . The brisk action includes violence, some gore, more murder, interaction among the NYPD, DEA, FBI and New Jersey state cops and a dose of NYPD internal politics. It's all buoyed by the gritty feel of the city, the way cops talk and think and even drive. Readers may guess quickly which woman is the more lethal but, even so, they won't be disappointed by this fast, intricate, terrifically engrossing cop thriller. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 00/00/0000
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