cover image Probable Cause

Probable Cause

Theresa Schwegel, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 (292pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34316-3

Seems like everyone in Chicago is crooked, and starry-eyed rookie patrolman Ray Weiss learns the cops are no exception when he's told to rob a jewelry store as part of his initiation onto the force in Edgar-winner Schwegel's fast-paced second crime novel (after 2005's Officer Down ). When Weiss breaks in, he finds the owner on the floor, shot dead. The discovery plunges him into a whirlwind of double-crosses, illegal immigration and coverups. Weiss's father is also a cop, but that makes unraveling the murder harder rather than easier. Weiss's need to prove himself holds him back from using his father's connections or asking advice. Readers who liked the sympathetic female characters in Officer Down may be disappointed, as Weiss sees women mostly in terms of his chances of getting them into bed. It's hard to keep someone so oversexed and error-prone from becoming either slapstick or annoying, but the genuinely intriguing story leaves no time for impatience or disengagement. Author tour. (Jan.)