cover image Good Cop, Bad Cop

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Barbara D'Amato. Forge, $22.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86562-7

An authoritative, engrossing mix of politics, police work and family jealousy, D'Amato's second Chicago-based novel (after the well-received takes an intriguing spin on the notorious 1969 Chicago police raid on the Black Panthers, which killed Fred Hampton. Nick Bertolucci, who was part of the assault team, is now Chicago's superintendent of police; his brother Aldo (the bad cop of the title) is a troubled patrolman who hates Nick with a passion. After the death of their father, a superintendent who was implicated in the cover-up that followed the Hampton killing, Aldo finds evidence that links Nick to one of the deaths in that assault--evidence that could taint the police department and end Nick's career. As Aldo quickly sets about doing his brother in, D'Amato spices this blackmail plot with a gritty portrayal of day-to-day police activity, complete with vividly realized supporting characters and realistic moral dilemmas. The rivalry between noble Nick and detestable Aldo seems a little schematic at times, and the rushed ending falls well below D'Amato's previous performance. But her standards are high, as this gripping, streetwise novel clearly proves. (Mar.)