Ask Sergeant Eddie North of the Philadelphia PD to define the job within the job, and he answers fast and unequivocally. It's to protect the officers under his wing, "not dime them out." Eddie's incurably honest. Also, his commitment to law enforcement is total. How to respond, then, when it seems inescapable that one of his people is dirty? Things escalate quickly when Steve Ryder, a young cop who is the son of the commissioner, is killed. Soon the evidence indicates this is not the random shooting it first appeared to be, and that Mafia boss Mickey Bravelli, repellent despite his thousand-dollar suits, knows more about the shooting than he says he does. Cop Michelle Ryder, Steve's sister, decides on her own to go undercover, to find out what it is Bravelli's hiding. More important, Michelle is the love of Eddie's life; Bravelli is his life's enduring hate object. Eddie jealously wonders whether Michelle could be drawn to the murderous mobster. At the close, Eddie will have to face down not only a gun-toting Bravelli but some dangerous personal demons as well. Philadelphia Daily News reporter Flander has some good stuff at the beginning—working cops in confrontation with nonstop street hostility. Yet soap-opera plotting permeates, seriously weakening what might have been a better-than-average debut.
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