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 Charyn winds up his New Isaac Quartet (Montezuma's Man, 1993, etc.) with the inauguration of Isaac Sidel, the Pink Commish, as mayor of New York. But before the champagne is poured, there's the little matter of three dead men, two of whom had signed into the city's homeless shelters as Geronimo Jones in honor of Isaac's own undercover alias. The third is found in Grand Central with a threatening note signed by ten dead ballplayers calling themselves the Knickerbocker Boys. The note leads Isaac, stranded between his powerful role as police commissioner and his future powers as mayor, to preservationist and old-time baseball fan Schyler Knott, or it would if Knott hadn't disappeared just after swearing opposition to the razing of a building built by the late, revered architect Emeric Gray. Meantime, Albert Wiggens, point man for incoming commissioner Sweets Montgomery, is convinced the first Geronimo was killed by Rita Mae Robinson, a prostitute who seems to be minding the kidnapped Rumanian children imported by pornographer Quentin Kahn and Ping-Pong champ King Carol. A few more murders, a couple of trips to Europe, a stroll down memory lane to the street in Odessa where Isaac's beloved Margaret Tolstoy was carried off as the child bride of the Butcher of Bucharest, and it's obvious that all the crooks, as usual, are just playing out slightly more sanguinary versions of the incessant rivalries among the mayor's office and the police, the governor, the FBI. A deliriously overplotted Hitchhiker's Guide to the Big Apple adorned with a demotic style and cartoon-epic conventions that would make it perfectly logical for the hero's bemused father to pop up ten pages from the end.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-89296-462-6
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1994


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