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STREETS OF FIRE by Soledad Santiago

STREETS OF FIRE

by Soledad Santiago

Pub Date: June 17th, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-94078-2
Publisher: Dutton

 Another political thriller short on thrills, from the Manhattan reporter and press agent whose previous efforts (Nightside, 1994; Room 9, 1992) have staked out the seamy streets of NYC and in the still-seamier corridors of City Hall. We can be pretty sure from the get-go that 38-year-old Francesca Colon has trouble in store: For one thing, the local diner where she meets friends for breakfast mysteriously explodes the very morning she's to start a new job with the NYPD Public Information office. Francesca is very uneasy about the job--Mayor Santorelli's willingness to cut social services and get tough with crime has made his administration unpopular with the city's impoverished Hispanics, and the Mollen Commission is about to break open a major corruption scandal within the force--but Francesca needs the salary for her two teenaged children now that her junkie husband has left the scene. Soon enough, however, she finds herself even deeper in trouble than she could have imagined. She begins an affair with Denzel Brown, a black lawyer who has brought suit against the police force for the death of a young boy, even though Francesca herself is partly responsible for concealing the evidence of police guilt from public view. Meanwhile, her daughter Alma returns pregnant from a vacation in Spain; her younger sister Manuela, who's only recently come out of the closet, is also pregnant; her mother is sick and needs an operation; and her stockbroker brother--the only real capitalist in the family-- doesn't see why he should have to pay for it. As if all this weren't enough, Francesca's husband is back on the scene, now living with a group of squatters and determined to gain custody of their son. How will it all end? Pretty happily, as it turns out, though not with much verisimilitude. Obvious, shallow, and rather tedious. (Author tour)