Triphammer

Dan McCall, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $18.95 (237p) ISBN 978-0-87113-333-5
The hero's nickname in McCall's eponymous novel encapsulates both the virtues and failings of this likable but ultimately thin first-person confession. Triphammer, an Irish-American cop in Ithaca, N.Y., speaks in a vigorously direct, masculine voice, but his story overall lacks a lasting impact. The novel succeeds best in its gritty, often moving depiction of the human messes cleared up by the sensitive and decent narrator, and of his fiery but tender relationship with his teenage son and burgeoning romance with a younger woman, a damsel in distress who is also a Jewish academic. Triphammer reflects at length on the nature of police work and his dependency on alcohol. Too often the story reads like a self-help history of one man's confrontation with his drinking problem, failing to deliver the promise of its better moments. McCall also wrote Jack the Bear. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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