MURDER AT THE HARLEM MOSQUE by Sonny & John Devaney Grosso

MURDER AT THE HARLEM MOSQUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Grosso was one of the original French Connection cops, and before the murder at the mosque is solved he's gigging on Kojak. In between he develops a bad case of megalomania as he accuses departmental brass of playing footsie with Black Muslim murderers and trying to ""shit-can"" the death of officer Phil Cardilio who answered a phony ""officer-in-trouble"" alarm and didn't live to tell about it. It happened in 1972 when Mayor Lindsay was running for President and the last thing anyone wanted was a riot in Harlem. So it's a case of frontline loyalties among the flatfoots vs. the craven expediency of the higher-ups. Grosso and his partner, behaving for ali the world like the ""blue-eyed devils"" of Muslim ideology, were after the Black Liberation Army which some people claimed didn't exist but which was gunning down cops anyway. (""Sonny pushed the tall black bartender into a comer. He pointed a gun at his throat."" Sonny does a lot of this sort of thing.) The mosque murder, by this account, was handled very unprofessionally and Grosso is incensed; he also harbors dark suspicions that the Panthers-BLA-Muslims are all in the same unholy stewpot, so he and his partner begin their own investigation. This produces flak from the department and, eventually, an eyewitness (though the press described him as on the ""police payroll""), a trial--and a hung jury. It won't matter for show biz though--there are enough allegations of political back-scratching and reverse racism to keep the cameras rolling.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1977
Publisher: Crown