Exit Wounds

John Westermann, Author Soho Press $18.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-939149-27-8
This wildly funny caper set in the most corrupt precinct of suburban Long Island is dark, anguished and (despite occasional strokes of swashbuckling adventure) authentic--the author is himself a 14-year police veteran. Orin Boyd, the antihero, is a boozed-out bad boy cop whose experiences in Vietnam have rendered him incapable of holding down a normal job but very adept at life on the edge. In short order, Boyd's marriage crumbles, his longtime partner (and friend) dies a slow death from cancer, and higher-ups in the department decide it's time for him to snitch on his brother cops. Forthwith he's transferred to the notorious 13th precinct in Belmont. Retreating into the dark bars and back alleys of decrepit suburbia to drink his troubles away, Boyd accidentally discovers the precinct's payola system. His choices: to snitch, knuckle under, or shoot the moon: take the dirty money and hope to get away with it. Westermann has an extraordinary eye for the tawdry, writes unbeatably funny dialogue, and his sense of the practical joke is highly refined. Despite its occasional bumpy transitions in points of view, this first novel is a must for any devotee of raunchy burnt-out cop sagas. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
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