From Publishers Weekly
Philadelphia police sergeant Eddie North goes to war against a swarm of public evilsAdirty cops, Mafia hit squads, vigilantismAin this action-packed yet unengaging debut novel that falls into too many well-plowed ruts. Bitter over his recent transfer from an undercover unit to street patrol, North is swept into battle when one of his officers is shot to death outside a crack house in a black neighborhood. The killing is front-page news because the cop is the son of Police Commissioner Ben Ryder. Investigators begin questioning all black men in the area, a tactic that does not sit well with the African-American community. While racial tensions flare, North and other cops begin checking out rumors that Ryder's son was a dirty cop working for local mobster Mickey Bravelli. The dead cop's sister, Sgt. Michelle Ryder, decides to go undercover in an attempt to woo Bravelli into a romantic relationship in which he might tell what happened to her brother. North, meanwhile, digs deeper into Bravelli's operation, discovering that the mob's reach extends much further into the city fabric than he originally believedAall the way to the top of the police department. Aided by police officials, Bravelli's goal is to foment a race riot he hopes will ultimately lead to the destruction of his chief nemesis, the local Black Mafia. North spends the last part of the book dodging stock assassins in what becomes a predictable dance to the finale. Flander tries to pump emotion into the story with several subplotsANorth's romantic interest in Michelle Ryder and his relationship with another cop who's cracking under the strain of family strife. But it's all pretty stale by thenApolice officers whining about how no one understands them, stereotypical villains and a main character whose portrayal rarely goes deeper than his role as a cop. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This excellent crime novel introduces a new author who is a definite keeper. Philadelphia police sergeant Eddie North has been unfairly transferred from the Organized Crime Unit to a regular beat, just as he was getting close to making a case against Mob boss Mickey Bravelli. Nursing his grudge, North looks for ways to make Bravelli's life difficult, although the sergeant has become the laughingstock of the "made men." The murder of one of his officers, the police commissioner's son, reorders North's priorities. He finds himself enmeshed in a labyrinthine situation involving dirty cops and the rivalries between the traditional Mafia and the increasingly organized crime structure within the African American community. All of these factors are about to explode in riots as Bravelli ignites a fiendishly clever plot to set the community against the police. Flander has crafted a terrific first novel, alternately funny and serious, which is well plotted and sparkles with crisp, believable dialogue. A reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News
, Flander is much more sympathetic toward the police than his fellow journalists. Don't miss this one! George Needham