PRIESTLY MURDERS by Joe Gash

PRIESTLY MURDERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Father Michael Doherty, substituting for Father Bill Conklin, is leading Mass at a Chicago-ghetto church when one of the congregants--a man in a police uniform, complete with masking helmet--shoots the priest dead and flees. Whodunit? Well, the powers-that-be are quick to attribute the murder to black rookie cop Ramsey Delford, who's just been arrested--quite rightly--for rape. (Part of Chicago's hasty ""recruitment-of-blacks program,"" Delford turns out to have a criminal record!) But Sergeant Terry Flynn is sure that Delford is being railroaded in order to achieve quick ""justice""--especially when the real killer (a psycho) confesses to Father Conklin, who was the real intended victim. And so Terry, with help from cop/girlfriend Karen and others, uses himself as priest-in-disguise bait, trapping the killer. Weak as mystery, thin as a police-procedural--but a strong, neat, gritty illustration of the imperfect criminal-justice system at work, with lots of Chicago-style details. (Gash's first Chicago Police mystery, Public Murders, appeared in paperback only in 1980--under one of his other, more familiar bylines: Bill Granger.)

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1984
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston