cover image Schedule Two

Schedule Two

Gaylord Dold. St. Martin's Press, $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-14730-3

The seamless splicing of a fast-moving plot with some very limber prose results in another memorable crime work from the author of Bay of Sorrows. From selling drugs undercover, San Francisco cop Grace Wu is moved away from the streets to the big time and a series of encounters with Korean criminal Kyungmoon Nho, who has just executed two rivals and dumped the bodies. Grace's bent cop boss, John Zito, is sinking fast in a sea of cocaine and vodka and stupidly blows Grace's cover to a low-level dealer, whom he then shakes down. Grace's likable DEA boss, Elgin Lightfoot, is a better sort, but he can't save Grace from being raped and beaten by Nho and his cohorts. When Grace decides on an unorthodox mode of retaliation, Elgin lends a reluctant hand, and a whole bunch of deaths and carnage rapidly ensues. Dold deftly places his characters in a swirling vortex of betrayal. If he gives his protagonists very little idea of what is happening, he does give his readers exquisitely detailed personal histories, which are more often than not very brutal, and which, more often than not, end in trivial death. Bay of Sorrows was much more stylish than a crime yarn actually needs to be, and Schedule Two continues this very admirable tradition. (Sept.)