STATE STREET by Richard Whittingham


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 Sportswriter Whittingham (Saturday Afternoon, 1986) turns to fiction with this gritty, overplotted Chicago procedural. Ex-homicide cop Joe Morrison, now with the Sixth Precinct's Organized Crime unit, takes on all the activities appropriate to his genre--getting divorced by his wife, going back on the streets to investigate a homicide with personal overtones (the robbery/murder of his father's longtime pharmacist friend Theo Warner), finding a promising new romance (Linda Tate, former mistress of commodities trader Dennis Courtland, a suspect in the Warner killing), tangling with organized crime (Rudy Facia, the capo who refuses to press charges when his daughter is raped--but wants the police to let him know the minute they have any leads), and putting the squeeze on known lowlifes (like Tommy Bates, who looks even better than Courtland for the Warner job, and Vinny Salerno, a wonderfully witless stoolie). Morrison does all of this with energy (if an occasional lack of direction) while he's waiting for his partner Norbert Castor to get shot--and it's no surprise when the Mafia daughter's rape peters out (though Whittingham manages one neat twist even after the case seems dead) in the excitement of nailing Castor's assailant and wrapping up the Warner case. Smart pace and authentically nasty atmosphere and detail enliven this somewhat lumpish descent into the bowels of the Windy City.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1991
ISBN: 1-55611-250-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1991


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