Playing the Dozens

William D. Pease, Author Viking Books $19.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-670-83518-8
Vivid characters and strong writing keep this thriller moving briskly. The murder of a Washington, D.C., cop puts an assistant U.S. attorney on the trail of drugs and corruption in Pease's stylishly gritty debut. Apprehended immediately, the killer asks to speak with Michael Holden, whose investigation of Washington's mayor had failed to bury either the pol or his pal Milton Higgs. The killer, who promises to hand over the goods on Higgs, is found hanged before the night is out. Holden is freshly determined to nail both Higgs and the mayor, and to find out who in the P.D. is in their pockets. With the help of veteran detective Eddie Nickles and a bright rookie, Holden orchestrates an investigation of money-laundering that uncovers Higgs's involvement in a huge heroin shipment; Higgs is also connected to the murder of a male prostitute. The many angles of the case are neatly resolved as the story ends with a seamlessly introduced, thought-provoking surprise that is not a tribute to the legal profession. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Sept).
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-451-16986-0
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