cover image The Investigators

The Investigators

W. E. B. Griffin. Putnam, $24.95 (409pp) ISBN 978-0-399-14308-3

The seventh in Griffin's cop-oriented Badge of Honor series (after The Murderers), this fast-paced, clever thriller puts wealthy, wisecracking Philadelphia detective Matt Payne in hot water up to his neck. As assistant to the head of the Special Operations Division of the Philly PD, young Matt, the department's golden boy, has never walked a beat, but the media love him for his quick-trigger work in dropping two murderers with a couple of snappy headshots. Matt's new case begins when a cop's widow fingers some dirty doings in a highly successful narc unit and, at the same time, the narcs earn the wrath of Philly's mob boss, Vincenzo Savarese (a grandfather who has not forgotten the importance of a woman's honor). In a side plot, Matt is assisting the FBI in its pursuit of an animal-rights terrorist group. ""Assisting"" means, in part, charming beautiful social worker--and suspected terrorist--Susan Reynolds; before he knows it, Matt is tragically lovestruck and up to his handcuffs in stolen money and felony charges that could put him in jail. As usual in Griffin's police procedurals, there's more going on here than in a three-ringed circus. Even readers wearied by Griffin's other, rather plodding series (Brotherhood of War, about soldiers, and The Corps, about marines) will enjoy this intricate, witty, tightly wrapped tale of cops on the job. (Jan.)