cover image Deadly Force

Deadly Force

Carsten Stroud. Bantam Books, $23.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-09994-2

In a prefatory note, Stroud (Close Pursuit) states that his goal is ""to illustrate very disturbing trends in federal law enforcement."" In this account of the career, from 1991 to 1995, of Marshal Luke Zitto, he concentrates on Zitto's major case, the search for a rapist and multiple murderer who hacked his victims to death with a tomahawk. The odyssey took Zitto from the South Bronx to Washington, D.C., to Buffalo and ended in the suspect's capture. Along the way, Stroud cites innumerable instances of interagency battling (FBI vs. DEA vs. ATF vs. USMS) and interdepartmental turf wars (Justice vs. Treasury), from which only the criminals profited. In a concluding note, he takes a pessimistic view of future federal law enforcement, fearing the FBI (which he doesn't like) will swallow up the other agencies. While his thesis is well substantiated, much of Stroud's book is written in a novelistic style. (Sept.)