cover image Tin Badges

Tin Badges

Lorenzo Carcaterra. Ballantine, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-345-48392-8

Set in New York, this uneven series launch from bestseller Carcaterra (Sleepers) introduces former NYPD detective Tank Rizzo, one of the titular Tin Badges (“Retired cops who get handed cases when the PD is on overload”). When Tank’s estranged brother and sister-in-law die in a car accident, he takes in his grieving teenage nephew, Chris Rizzo. Tank also lands a not-so-cold case involving a drug dealer and numerous corrupt NYPD officers, and Chris ends up joining Tank’s motley crew of investigators, which also includes an ex-mob boss, a Romani fortune teller, and Tank’s former partner, Pearl. The police give Tank and his team so much leeway that Mike Hammer would be jealous, and as their hunt for the dealer continues, plenty of folks get sent to the hospital or morgue. Though Carcaterra keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace, the unrealism of his world (where old-school mob bosses appear to have never hurt any innocents) and shallowness of the characters remove any sense of gravitas from the plot. Fans of lighter crime fiction may enjoy this, however. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (Sept.)