Email this review


Cacophony specialist Oster (Club Dead, Saint Mike, Nowhere Man, etc.) again jump-cuts several storylines--not to mention stream-of-consciousnesses--for a New York-style Hill Street Blues. Here, he introduces Sgts. Cullen (street savvy) and Zimmerman (all high-tech talk) and the intersecting tales of the torching of the Raleigh, a derelict tenement; the murder of N.Y.C.'s Police Commissioner Charles Story (Mr. Perfect: bright, rich, noble, etc.), who was found with a bullet in his heart, his severed finger rammed down his throat and the word ""Raleigh"" defacing his ever-so-muted walls; and ""the Dean thing,"" a scandal involving police officer Deborah Dean and a department higher-up. Story's sister, movie star Vera Evans, returns for the funeral, preceded by her look-alike secretary; Story's wife and daughter seem to be hiding something; and his old junior-high buddy, Tom Valentine, a welfare activist, lost his fianc‚e in the Raleigh fire and was the last person to see him alive. Cullen, their other school pal and the unrequited lover of Vera, tracks down another eye-witness, who saw a woman leave from the back door. And in the midst of much hyperbole, subtle-as-neon dialogue, and gruesome cops-on-the-job descriptions, everything comes together, thanks to this year's hottest motive: incest. Vivid, energetic, and viscerally explicit, but the plot's as rigged as a three-card monte game.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1989
Publisher: Bantam