cover image Force of Nature

Force of Nature

Stephen Solomita. Putnam Publishing Group, $19.95 (282pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13491-3

NYPD Detective Stanley Moodrow is up against a brutal adversary in this powerful and relentlessly engaging sequel to A Twist of the Knife. Less a man than ``a force of nature,'' drug-dealing Levander Greenwood has killed a cop, and is expected to kill more, when Moodrow and his handpicked partner, Jim Tilley, start hunting him. Greenwood's elderly mother begs Moodrow to allow her boy to surrender; his wife, Rose, similarly begs Tilley to kill him. A West Virginia beauty who's been raped or beaten all her life, Rose wins Tilley's passion and protection--but Greenwood stabs, and nearly kills her regardless. He also kills more dealers, but still manages to push the drugs he steals. Tilley seems right in surmising that Greenwood has a partner, but neither he nor Moodrow had imagined that the partner might be a cop. Checking out the grim tip, they strong-arm the drug addicts and whores of the Lower East Side as cops continue to fall. Moodrow even enlists Mafia help in a last-ditch tactic to find Greenwood's ostensibly impenetrable hideout. With tension at a riveting peak, it is impossible to guess who, if anyone, will survive this war. But Solomita's people, dialogue and narrative will make readers want to reread its depiction. Paperback rights to Avon. (Sept.)