THE DIAMOND EXCHANGE by Thomas Chastain

THE DIAMOND EXCHANGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Case #4 for the NYPD's independently wealthy, Saville-suited, mistress-keeping Max Kauffman, commander of the Sixteenth Precinct in Manhattan--and, as is the fashion these days, case #4 is two cases which link up. First there's a series of rape/murders around town. And then there's an outrageous Diamond District heist devised by a master criminal: with the help of a disgruntled ex-cop (who is soon murdered), the crooks disguise themselves as inspectors from the NYPD's Internal Affairs Division, take over Max's station, grab some patrol cars, and pose as cops on 47th St., faking a ""bomb scare"" and grabbing diamonds from the evacuated building. But Max catches on mid-heist: the scam is semi-foiled--as one crook gets away with a lot of gems, while the ruthless mastermind himself shoots his other employees (from across the street). And when Max tracks the crook-in-hiding to the mastermind, he also finds his psychopathic rapist/murderer. At its best, Chastain's split-focus crime/cop-world narration is vaguely reminiscent of J. J. Marric's Gideon series. Most of the time, however, it's just comic-strip cops-and robbers, with a little kinky sex thrown in. Overall--undistinguished but breezily professional.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1981
Publisher: Doubleday