Total Immunity

Robert Ward, Author . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Penzler $26 (358p) ISBN 978-0-15-101480-4

In Ward's overblown crime novel, two Los Angeles FBI agents, Jack Harper and Oscar Hidalgo, are thrilled when their successful sting brings down South African jewel smuggler Karl Steinbach. They laugh off Steinbach's promise that everyone involved will soon die, but when a fellow agent's brakes fail and another is pushed in front of an oncoming train, Harper and Hidalgo fear they might be next. As the pair investigate their slain comrades' lives, they discover that what looked like a case of retribution is actually tied to a web of deceit that stretches to the highest echelons of the FBI. Ward (Four Kinds of Rain ) mixes in a melodramatic subplot involving Harper's young son, Kevin, whose attempts at teenage rebellion coincidentally put him in the center of his father's investigation. A former writer for Miami Vice , Ward weighs down what could have been a slick tale of greed and corruption with hollow heroes and stereotypical villains. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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