Break and Enter

Colin Harrison, Author Crown Publishers $17.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-517-57281-8
In this exceptionally solid debut thriller, Peter Scattergood, a promising young Philadelphia assistant DA, is handed the case of his career--the double murder of the mayor's nephew and the nephew's girlfriend--just as his marriage falls apart. Left with mounting bills when his wife moves out, an overwhelming workload and a mother ill with cancer, Scattergood, descendant of Quaker patricians, finds his morals and ethics severely tested. Though he wants to save his marriage, he becomes involved with sex-hungry bank vice-president Cassandra; his closest ally in the DA's office is succumbing to a cocaine addiction; their boss tries to speed Scattergood's murder prosecution; and the facts of the case grow increasingly contradictory, suggesting implication of the mayor. Harrison knows the details of criminal prosecution and the Philadelphia ambience, and the dual threads of his plot--crumbling marriage, crumbling career--are ingeniously complementary. Although Harrison's occasionally overwrought prose can take on a dizzying, almost hallucinogenic effect, he really knows how to spin a tale, and his novel is intelligent, absorbing and satisfying. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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