New series debut in which a probation officer’s life turns out to be just as full of menace, romance, and violence as that of any Rosenberg cop or lawyer.
Twenty-three years after he was convicted of killing high-school football star Tim Harrison, schizophrenic Daniel Metroix is back on the streets again because somebody at Chico State Prison missed a call. Tim’s father, the former Ventura police chief who’s now deputy chief at the LAPD, is so furious that he hires a couple of bent ex-cops to do Daniel dirt. Into this mangle walks Carolyn Sullivan, Daniel’s new probation officer, whose last client, pedophile Eddie Downly, has just disappeared after raping little Luisa Cortez and leaving her for dead. Despite juggling law school, single parenthood—her writer husband showed an unlovely side under the influence of drugs and drink—and a full caseload, Carolyn can see that Daniel tells a pretty convincing story of innocence for a guy who hears voices. And she’s not too busy to notice that her new neighbor Paul Leighton, a physics professor her son John idolizes, is interested in John’s mother as well. Can she keep Paul at bay long enough to prove Daniel’s innocence to the skeptical police and judiciary, protect John and his kid sister from bad guys who’ve already trashed her car and tried to blow her up, and uncover a conspiracy that seems to involve every crook in Ventura County? Only readers new to Rosenberg’s brand of imperiled law-enforcement dames who specialize in frontier justice (Conflict of Interest, 2002, etc.) will wonder.
Apart from a finale that finds Carolyn distributing armaments to her troubled client, her son, and her neighbor’s housekeeper, this supercharged, undernourished case is most notable for Carolyn’s response to Paul’s profession of love: “Isn’t a statement like that a little premature? We haven’t even had sex.”