An ambitious Jersey cop frames a meek geek for a series of crimes, wreaking havoc on both their lives.
Tony Deluca craves his father’s love so much that he’s willing to break the law he’s promised to uphold in order to receive it. In a bid to make detective and win parental approval, Tony â€œsolves” a series of robberies by setting up nerdy engineer Eric Nordblum, based on doctored evidence. Eric is already in a fragile state, having been banished from his home after his wife discovers his affair–he’s depressed and lonely, living in a rundown rental and hoping for a reprieve. Instead he’s indicted for robbery and attempted murder. It’s a weak case, but he’s a weak man unable to fight off his accusers, among them the corrupt mayor of the town (Tony’s bully of a father) and his pandering cronies (including the police chief). Reckless Indifference is neither a mystery nor strict police procedural. The suspense of the novel rests on the psychological portraits of Tony and Eric, antagonist and accused. The question is not whodunit, but which will crumble first, Tony’s case or Eric’s will. When will Tony finally be found out? When will Eric clear his name? Veazey tends to overstate her characters’ motives, as if she doesn’t trust her readers to take subtle cues about the driving forces behind Tony’s action and Eric’s inaction. But the author is dead-on in her illustration of Eric’s malaise–the depiction of the helplessness and disbelief with which he faces his persecution is fascinating and vivid. Veazey shows with bone-chilling accuracy that while the courts purport to believe in the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven, the concept is often overlooked. An accusation can be as damning as a conviction, and Eric loses the support of his wife, children, boss and even lawyer, as he descends further into the system.
A crime novel that mines interesting, unconventional sources for tension.