PAST TENSE by Stephen Greenleaf

PAST TENSE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Have the world's best-publicized social problems ever weighed as heavily on any shamus as they do on John Marshall Tanner? Now that he's grappled with tainted-blood scandals, white supremacists, adoption skullduggery, and, most recently, computer rape (Flesh Wounds, 1996), he is in for a double body blow. First, because the murder of Leonard Wints, while he was sitting in court waiting for his attorney to open his defense against the charge of abusing his daughter, takes Marsh into a minefield of accusations of incest and counter-accusations of bogus recovered memories. And second, because the man who executed Wints in front of dozens of horrified witnesses was Lt. Charley Sleet, a 30-year veteran of the SFPD and Marsh's best friend. What's the connection between Charley and Wints? Why does Charley admit his guilt, do his best to keep his buddies from hiring a lawyer for him, then break out of jail, leaving another dead man in his wake? And when nobody wants to say a word to Marsh, even to lie, how is he ever going to figure out what made a man with half a lifetime's devotion to the system turn vigilante--with every promise of more violence to come? Though it's never less than professional, Tanner's 12th works better as anguished fictional biography than as mystery. If you care anything about Greenleaf's p.i., you'll care a lot more by the last page.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-83249-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997




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