cover image King of the Corner

King of the Corner

Loren D. Estleman / Author, Loren D. Estelman / Author Bantam

This final volume in Estleman's Detroit trilogy (after Whiskey River and Motown ) is a superb thriller that may cause an uproar in America's sixth-largest city. Doc Miller, once an ace reliever for the Tigers, is sprung after seven years in prison, a sentence he earned when a guest at a party he threw OD'ed on cocaine. Fat, flamboyant bail bondsman Maynard Ance offers six-foot-five Doc a job as escort while Ance goes after a skipped client, Wilson McCoy (last seen in Motown). McCoy, former Black Panther and leader of the Marshals of Mahomet--``revolutionaries'' who raise money by selling drugs--eventually turns up a suicide. Accepting Ance's offer of full-time employment, Doc is plunged into an intricate series of events in a fast-moving narrative that veers from a black funeral to a fancy fund-raiser, with danger at every turn. The pleasure of the intricate plot is enhanced by the cast of vivid ? colorful an awk adj to use in describing a multiracial castgood point! characters, led by Ance, who likens a pesky reporter to ``a prostate the size of Ohio.'' Other players include a genteel black former madam who knows where all the bodies are buried, Mahomet's elegant widow, and some ballplaying Marshals who run dope. Real-life Mayor Coleman Young is depicted in the last chapter as the owner of a crack house. As in the earlier Detroit books, the climax here is violent, the denouement cynical. Estleman, who also writes the Amos Walker mysteries, knows and somehow still loves Detroit, not unlike its other bard, Elmore Leonard. (June)