cover image Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect

Margaret Maron / Author Doubleday Books $14.95 (183p) ISBN 978

The fatal shooting of off-duty detective Michael Cluett, recently transferred from Manhattan to Brooklyn and days short of his 40-year tenure, sets off the series of intertwining investigations pursued in Maron's engrossing procedural. After the shooting, lieutenant Sigrid Harald, Cluett's boss in Manhattan, learns that he and her own boss had worked with her father, also a policeman, and may have shared a dark secret about his death in the line of duty many years before. The subsequent killing of the computer operator checking on the Cluett murder weapon suggests police involvement and leads Harald to probe her father's death. Alternating with the narrative of her search is the voice of Jarvis Vaughn, a black police detective from Brooklyn whose first-person account gives an intimate view of the internal investigation. Providing continuity and atmosphere with details of the snowy cityscape, Maron ( Corpus Christmas ) writes a terse, technically expert police procedural, its hard-boiled plot undiluted by sentimentality. (Feb.)