Given the Crime

Anne Beane Rudman, Author, Anne Beame-Rudman, Author, Margaret Barrett, Author Pocket Books $22 (320p) ISBN 978-0-671-00151-3
This first mystery by Rudman, an assistant DA and head of the New York County DA's Asset Forfeiture Unit, and writer Dennis is a poorly constructed jumble featuring Susan Given, who holds the same position as Rudman. Gorgeous, brilliant Susan has two Salvadoran adopted daughters, a motherly housekeeper, adoring co-workers, supportive friends, an understanding lover and a vindictive soon-to-be-ex-husband. Campbell-McCaffee, an Oklahoma carting company, is trying to break the Mafia's hold on garbage collection in New York City. Simultaneously, Susan is about to seize the Evanston Hotel, owned by drug lord Vin Ho Chi. The two plots conveniently mesh when Susan discovers, hiding in the Evanston, a witness to the Mafia murder of a Campbell-McCaffee driver. This is a story constructed on coincidences: Susan's daughters attend the same private school as the daughters of a Campbell-McCaffee executive and the son of Susan's difficult boss; Susan meets the murdered driver's widow when they're interviewed on the same TV show; the Mafia don's son's psychiatrist is an acquaintance of Susan's; even the Mafia garbage consortium hires Susan's best friend's advertising agency to upgrade its image. Shallow characters and trite writing do nothing do alleviate this sloppiness. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
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