GIVEN THE CRIME by Anne Beane Rudman


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 Immensely amusing debut suspenser by Rudman, an assistant district attorney in the New York District Attorney's office, who teams up with old-hand screenwriter/novelist Dennis (Somebody Just Grabbed Annie, 1975, etc.) to give readers the lowdown on Manhattan's Assets and Forfeiture Division, for which Rudman works. Assets and Forfeiture picks up property owned by criminals and reinvests it into policing the city. Attorney Susan Given's catch phrase is ``Crime Never Sleeps'' as she goes about relieving criminals of their goods. Along the way, Susan is trying to divorce her stupefyingly blinkered psychiatrist husband, Hugh Carver, with whom she shares custody of her two daughters, 14-year-old Salvadoran-born adopted Polly and 10-year-old Ivy, a vaudeville team of wisemouths about parents and parenting. Susan's biggest case at the moment is an attempt to bring charges against Nick Tesla and his son Junior, who have sewn up the garbage-carting business in Manhattan for the past 40 years. When an Oklahoma carting company tries to move into town and undercut Tesla's vastly overcharging group of thugs and legbreakers, Junior Tesla batters the brains out of a trucker. Manolo, a Cuban accompanying him at the time, chooses to run off rather than be involved in the murder. In a very funny scene, Susan captures him in a hotel bedroom and has him secreted away in a witness protection program--except that Manolo has fallen in love with Susan and leaves the program to chase after her. Meanwhile, Michael--novelist, actor, and her lover from Los Angeles--shows up, woos Polly and Ivy, and helps Susan with her undercover work against the Teslas, who continue devising ways to destroy their nemesis, although by now bodybuilder Junior has himself fallen for her. This kickoff in a series barrels along on a gift for witty dialogue that already sounds like a top tv crime show. Great entertainment.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-671-00151-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1997