CRIMINAL JUSTICE by Barbara Parker

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Parker's latest Miami lawyer-in-distress is Daniel Galindo, Esq., who gets mangled in a DEA undercover operation against his lovers and relatives. After months of hard work, Operation Manatee is ready for the big push against Miguel Salazar and the associates he's bullied into letting him use Mayhem, an up-and-coming band, to launder millions in heroin cash. DEA agent-in-charge Vincent Hooper and assistant US prosecutor Elaine McHale, who just happen to be lovers, have placed an undercover agent and turned a reluctant informer inside Coral Rock Productions. Very nice for them--but not so nice for Dan Galindo, Elaine's former colleague at the federal attorney's office, whose life has been in a tailspin ever since he refused to suborn perjury in an earlier drug case. Divorced from his wife Lisa, Dan's still friendly with Lisa's brother Rick Robbins, Mayhem's manager, and even friendlier with Mayhem guitarist Kelly Dorff, not realizing that she's Manatee's informant. Struggling to be a father to his son Josh, Dan allows Salazar to lend him his yacht for a fishing trip--and finds himself slipping even further into the bad guys' pockets. Although there are undeniable compensations--at diverse times Dan enjoys romantic scenes with Kelly, with Lisa, with ambitious Mayhem vocalist Martha Cruz, and even with Elaine--they vanish when Kelly's killed at Dan's apartment, shot with his own speargun. If Dan didn't do it--and Elaine's ready to provide him with an alibi--who did? There's a surprising answer, but you may have forgotten all about it in the storm over (1) the quest for an incriminating audiotape; (2) Dan's domestic dilemmas; (3) Rick's entanglement with monstrous Salazar; (4) the fate of Mayhem, whose members should check their insurance policies; and (5) the infighting among all those feds. Nobody plots more generously than Parker (Blood Relations, 1996, etc.), but this time, with enough menace for a whole season of Miami Vice, the result is so unfocused that it's exhausting instead of dramatic. (First printing of 60,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-93977-6
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1996




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