THREE QUARTERS by Denis Hamill


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 An ultraviolent tough-cop revenger from New York Daily News columnist Hamill (House on Fire, 1995, etc.) that reads like the best Steven Seagal movie you'll never see. Pity the poor New York Police Department Medical Board physicians who wake up in sleazy hotel rooms beside the butchered bodies of beautiful women. Even if some of these resourceful bureaucratic hacks cover their tracks, as Dr. Hector Perez does in Hamill's blood-drenched, in-your-face opener, they soon get video cassettes, courtesy of an anonymous blackmailer's candid camera, that show them disposing of evidence. Tough, honest, street-savvy Detective Bobby Emmet starts sniffing around a scam involving the Medical Board's all-too-eager pensioning out of dirty cops. He's drugged, and soon after he wakes up arrested and charged with murdering and cremating his drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend, Dorothea Dubrow. Alas, Emmet goes directly to jail; but right after demonstrating his chop-socky fighting skills to some cell-block perverts, he's sprung by hotshot defense lawyer ``Sleazy'' Izzy Gleason, who has, apparently, suffered a moral reversal and wants to use Emmet's trial to position himself as a crusading defender of the wrongly imprisoned. Though he suspects that his motor-mouth savior (``having an office in the Empire State Building,'' Gleason brags, ``is like being hung like a horse,'' even if, as in his case, the office is in the basement) is a spineless hustler with his own agenda, Emmet, who suffers from Irish Alzheimer's (``I forget everything but the. . . grudge''), uses the time before his trial to visit family, friends, and plenty of enemies, discovering that not only is Dorothea alive, but that one of his closest cop buddies framed him because the scam he was investigating could bring down a swinish New York gubernatorial candidate. Inevitably, his investigations also draw in Dr. Perez and his lethal blackmailer. Routine violence, over-the-top characterizations, and preposterously tangled plotting, all redeemed by hilariously crude, pseudo street-talk.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-671-00249-X
Page count: 308pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1997


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