K. C. Constantine, Author . Mysterious $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-89296-763-6

Where Constantine's earlier books (Grievance, etc.) followed the exploits of police chief Mario Balzic and detective Rugs Carlucci of the Rocksburg, Pa., police department, this one brilliantly shadows three beat cops: William Rayford, Robert Canoza and James Reseta. The events, trivial and wrenching, of one evening shift reveal an enormous amount about each man. Rayford, the only black man in the department, has been the smartest, fittest candidate for every job he's ever sought, but he couldn't protect his son from the idiocy of his mother-in-law, nor is he strong enough to free himself from his disdainful, distant wife. Canoza always forgets to wear his bulletproof vest—maybe not a death wish, but surely some sort of ambiguity. He doesn't have a problem taking care of menacing bikers, but he does have a problem with little old ladies locked out of their cars. It doesn't help his image when he makes them cry. Reseta is still fighting the Vietcong and the bullies from his childhood. As a therapist describes it, Reseta walks around with a bomb in his head. He struggles daily to defuse it, using the wisdom of talk-show guests and whatever else he can. These three patrolmen travel the town in their mobile units, satellites moving slowly but surely across the darkened neighborhoods; at times their orbits cross. The threads of various plots are woven beautifully into this story, but clearly it's not about action, but about these men. The richness of detail, the thousand subtle touches of character, make their lives, their issues, absolutely riveting. (Aug. 22)

Reviewed on: 07/22/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-446-56108-2
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-446-69169-7
Open Ebook - 167 pages - 978-0-446-55108-3
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