The eighth in the Badge of Honor series about the Philadelphia police department (The Investigators, 1998, etc.) continues to follow the amazing career of Special Operations detective Matt Payne.
Now promoted to sergeant and assigned to Homicide, Matt is a little dazed by his new rank and station. He’s a recent University of Pennsylvania grad and the top-scoring entrant in the biannual department exams, but he hasn’t spent enough time in uniform on a beat to be as savvy as the department thinks he should be. Matt has bereavement problems as well: he’s still throwing up and going into cold sweats six months after the shooting death of his beloved Susan Reynolds. Meanwhile, he’s mired in departmental politics and stuck with an assignment to a Dignitaries Protection event meant to keep the public at a distance from visiting film star Stanley Colt. (Stanley, who while playing detectives has been known to fire 47 rounds from his seven-round .45 without reloading, wants to know how real cops work.) Plus, Matt’s got three big cases going down at once, The first turns on a shooting in a Roy Rogers diner during which two black perps killed a waitress and a lone cop who had not waited for backup before entering the diner. The second is a serial rape and murder whose implications are far from simple. The third involves Fort Festung, who 20 years ago murdered his girlfriend and left her body mummified in a trunk, then took off for France (no extradition); from his Paris jail cell he sends snide postcards to the Philadelphia PD. Matt is dizzily attracted to Terry Davis, who handles the Colt visit for Global Artists Management, but soon finds himself bedding Detective Olivia Lassiter.
After reading this hugely fact-crammed procedural, you too can pass the Philadelphia police exam. Speed-dial plotting, lively entertainment.