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Nobody but the fledgling Regional Department for Environmental Crime (DUK in German) cares about Roger Vesper, an inoffensive lab technician at the Regional Cancer Hospital who may be the key to cracking a case involving some missing experimental antibiotics. And nobody cares any more when Vesper's arrested for the murder of Albert Huber, a clerk at the Radwasthaus plant that arranges disposal of low-level waste from nearby nuclear reactors. Only the Eco-Cops in the DUK suspect that this murder wasn't just gay-bashing--that Vesper may have been framed by powerful industrialists looking to cover their disposal of some decidedly high-level wastes. Since the DUK is something of a waste disposal unit itself--one member's been exiled from Vice, a second from Narcotics, a third from Traffic, and they all wish they were somewhere else--it's up to their chief, Renata Fechter, to follow the radioactive trail. But how can Renata get the goods on the bad guys when her own smooth lover, upscale car salesman Aldo Nerone, is so obviously in cahoots with them that he arranges for paparazzi to smear her by photographing her socializing topless with Aldo's understanding wife--unless, of course, she can get some cooperation out of the fly-by-night operators who are supposed to be spiriting the hot cargo out of the country? Rathbone (Sand Blind, 1994, etc.) keeps everything stylishly knowing, jaundiced, and off-kilter until the final movement, which smacks just a bit too much of Quentin Tarantino shootouts.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0727856197
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Serpent's Tail--dist. by Consortium