MURDER IN THE SENATE by William S. & Thomas B. Allen Cohen


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The chief of the Capitol Police runs afoul of local and Louisiana politics as he tries to solve a series of brutal murders. The victims are women, the stakes are in the zillions, and the authors (Senator Cohen; One. Eyed Kings, 1991, etc.; veteran writer Allen) know Washington from the sub-basement up. Glamorous and possibly rotten Senator Julia Bristow, who inherited her office from her recently drowned husband, holds the deciding vote in the battle for statehood for the District of Columbia until her pretty, behatted corpse is discovered on the senatorial subway. Capitol Police chief and former FBI agent Jeffrey Fitzgerald gets orders from the majority leader (the man who got him his job) to clear things up pronto and without help from the FBI. Fitzgerald gets excellent assistance from his most attractive lieutenant, Alexandra Phelan, but clues are slow in coming to light; and before much progress is made, there's a second murder. The victim this time is a black woman who had been in the forefront of the statehood movement, and the modus operandi is precisely that used on Bristow. Aside from the straightforward detecting, Fitzgerald and Phelan must do battle with the creepy Capitol Architect, an unknown traitor on the Capitol Police force, the rotten mayor of the District, and the crypto-fascist congressman who moved into Bristow's seat rather too quickly. They get help from Fitzgerald's psychic landlady, a right-minded FBI administrator, and the crusty District medical examiner. They get relief from each other. A nicely brisk pace, authentically creepy politicians, and clever use of the Capitol itself keep things interesting when the plot gets silly.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1993
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Doubleday