The James Joyce of the police novel is at it again, this time with a manic, woolly tale of New York Police Commissioner Isaac Sidel's attempts to crack a ring of thieving school officials while protecting his flank from his sometime protÇgÇ detective Caroll Brent, formerly of the Sherwood Forest precinct in Central Park. Brent's disaffection with marriage to the half-billion-dollar heiress Diana Cassidy, of Cardinal Jim O'Bannon's family--plus his indebtedness to Isaac's old enemy Sal Rubino--has made him vulnerable to tough-guy Maria Montalb†n's urgings that he assassinate Isaac. And that's just for openers: Things get even murkier when Isaac tries to turn one of Maria's girls, Lolita-ish Delia St. John, against the Central Park North Pornographers' Association and runs up against his old love, Margaret Tolstoya, still again. Charyn, who writes like a rabbi on bad acid, kills off both Sal and Isaac, then brings them back from the dead. Maria isn't as lucky, nor are unwary readers who aren't already steeped in the mythology of the Pink Commish.