Paul Lindsay, Author . Simon & Schuster $24 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7432-1506-0

FBI veteran Lindsay (Witness to the Earth; The Fuhrer's Reserve; etc.) again shows his knowledge of Bureau politics and procedures with the story of a talented agent on the skids. Living in a seedy Chicago motel room with a stray dog named BC, divorced burnout Jack Kincade prefers playing poker with stolen money to showing up sober for work. Kincade's method for robbing banks—setting traps inside night depositories—comes from a burglar he arrested in better days. This precarious lifestyle is interrupted when a bomb threat brings Special-Agent-in-Charge Roy Thorne to the Chicago office. Thorne sees through Kincade's veneer to the keen intellect beneath. He partners the cynical detective with one-legged cancer survivor Ben Alton, a man as determined to get back to work as Jack is to get away from it. When the bomber turns out to be an enraged father who wants the FBI to reopen his daughter's kidnapping case, closed three years before without resolution, Kincade and Alton investigate the kidnapping, while Alton looks into the bank robberies. Kincade lightens the mood by bantering with the serious Alton, knowing it's only a matter of time before Alton traces the bank thefts to his wisecracking partner. The novel's most insightful passages detail FBI procedure, while the most impassioned describe ambitious agents scrambling up the bureaucratic ladder, leaving the stalking of criminals to mavericks willing to break the rules and sacrifice their careers and their lives. The mixture of office politics, procedural detail and an unlikely hero in an unexpected partnership lifts this effort above the average FBI novel. Agent, Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct. 8)

Reviewed on: 09/16/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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