Robert Andrews, Author . Putnam $24.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-399-15039-5

D.C. homicide detectives Frank Kearney and José Phelps are back in Andrews's third entry in this sturdy series (A Murder of Honor ; etc.) showcasing Washington's curious hybrid world of gritty street crime and political misdoings. One drug dealer has been killed and another wounded in a shooting that everyone agrees could only have gone better if both low-lifes had been wiped out. But it's still murder, and Kearney and Phelps are obliged to find out who shot up the duo. When the investigation leads the cops to the two-year-old killing of Kevin Gentry, a government official with links to the CIA, things begin to get complicated. What began as a turf battle between drug dealers evolves into a mystery that threatens to bring down high-level politicians and law enforcement bigwigs alike. Andrews brings the streets of upper-class Georgetown and ghetto Washington to life, tossing in plenty of city lore, and Kearney and Phelps are smart, dedicated and amusing, an unbeatable cop-novel combination. Their dogged investigation leads to a promotion for both that can only bode well for the continuation of this excellent series. Agent, Robin Rue at Writer's House. (Sept.)

Forecast: The recent television series The District and George Pelecanos's critical success have raised the profile of Washington as a setting for crime novels as well as political thrillers. This, plus the quality of Andrews's work, should result in rising sales for the series.

Reviewed on: 08/09/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 299 pages - 978-0-425-20521-1
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