KING OF THE CORNER by Loren D. Estleman

KING OF THE CORNER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A paroled felon takes a walk on the wild side of the law in this relatively slight yet satisfying conclusion to Estleman's Detroit crime trilogy (Whiskey River, Motor City). Kevin ``Doc'' Miller isn't just any ex-con; he's a former Detroit Tigers pitching star sent to prison on a morals rap. Back on the streets after seven years, Doc finds a new, more dangerous Detroit--one fueled not by the illegal booze of Prohibition-set Whiskey River, or the corrupt unions of 60's-set Motor City, but by crack cocaine. As a parolee, Doc means to steer clear of crime, but his new job as a John Deere salesman pays little and bores him silly. So when tough bail bondsman Maynard Ance offers him a job as his driver, Doc jumps at the chance--and is soon helping Ance bail out Detroit's top black drug-dealers and political radicals. Doc's an amiable guy, as well as a celeb of sorts, so soon he's also organized a weekend sandlot baseball game played by his new acquaintances--drug-dealers, a cop, and his own nerdy nephew, whom he's trying to make a man of--and he's escorting the young widow of a legendary black radical martyr to a testimonial dinner, thus attracting the attention not only of a sexy journalist but also of longtime Detroit mayor Coleman A. Young. Beneath this newfound success, though, trouble brews: one of Ance's old clients, a top drug-dealing black radical, has killed a corrupt cop--and Doc, pressured by another cop to help find the killer, gets caught up in a dirty political war that eventually leads to a tragic death and takes him into a tense showdown with Mayor Coleman himself. Neither as colorful nor as vigorous as the earlier volumes- -but, still, a pleasing if rather rambling mystery-thriller boasting a likable lead, nice baseball metaphors, and a boldly chilling portrait of Coleman A. Young as a devil incarnate.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1992
ISBN: 0-553-08926-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1992




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