ACES AND EIGHTS by Philip Garlington


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Urban dexedrine or worse--drugs, revolutionary gangs, and mad bombings in San Francisco--by a former newspaperman assigned to this kind of action, all of it ugly. Not that Garlington doesn't brighten it up--he can write--even if none of the action around here is likely to sit well on an empty stomach. Take Blue Knight William McCann, ""a half sozzled Irish flatfoot pig cop"" who's a racist except when it comes to his partner Henry (they served in Vietnam together). Henry is splitting out and plays cards in his head--his own private version of Crazy Eights? Or Brannon, an old-line reporter for the Examiner or O'Riley, the newly appointed officer in charge of the Anti-Terror Unit. Bombs come and bombs blow up while McCann and Henry when not on duty are busy promoting their own private deal-smuggling in three million dollars worth of heroin in the body of a corpse (it might remind you of the news story of that other coffin from Vietnam). Garlington's version--not as strong as it should be--holds together by virtue of the hard-mouthed dialogue, the fragging activities, and a whole deck of wild cards primarily symptomatic of the brutality of contemporary life.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1975
Publisher: Evans