cover image Breaking Faith: Featuring Nason Nichols, P.I.

Breaking Faith: Featuring Nason Nichols, P.I.

Maynard F. Thomson. Pocket Books, $22 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74900-2

Boston PI Nason Nichols (Trade Secrets) gets a hard lesson in urban politics after the murder of a much-admired black college student during a police sweep in the youth's neighborhood. Recruited by an old friend to help a mayoral commission investigate allegations of police brutality against blacks, Nase begins to fear the probe is a sham to vindicate popular police commissioner Francis X. ""Dapper"" Flanagan. The commission seems stacked with members ready to do Mayor Conor O'Conor's bidding: the chairman is a venerated but perhaps doddering figurehead, and the chief investigator is the mayor's niece, blind prosecutor Peggy Kiernan. Even an activist critic, the Reverend Theophilus James, has changed his anti-police tune. Nase, digging deep, learns that a cop had been on the trail of the young student, who was not as exemplary as he seemed. With a sure grip on Boston's patois and politics, Thomson adeptly demonstrates how effectively political and financial interests can muster the power to steamroll even a high-profile murder case. While this brew may not have quite the depth of a George V. Higgins tale, it still delivers especially good scenes of pols and their pals on the make. (Oct.)