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Crescent Blues Book ViewsAvon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-06-054278-0

Sergeant Eddie North, formerly a member of the Organized Crime Unit until unjustly demoted under allegations of taking mob kickbacks, patrols the streets on the west side of Philadelphia. Caught between the Italian Mafia on one side and the Black Mafia on the other, the police of the district tread a tight line attempting to remain on the right side of the limits of the law. Some of their numbers, they know, inevitably step over the line.

Book: scott flander, sons of the city
The death of Patrolman Steve Ryder, son of the Police Commissioner, during a routine disturbance call at a local crack house seems a tragic and senseless murder. An eyewitness describes the shooter as a young black man. As the police scour the neighborhood rounding up every black male available, tensions between the police and the community reach explosive levels. An anonymous tip implicates a member of the Black Mafia. The suspect subsequently turns up dead in the trunk of a car. North's investigation, however, leads him to suspect the involvement of a nemesis from his Organized Crime Unit days, Italian Mafia kingpin Mickey Bravelli.

Word on the street suggests the slain officer received pay-offs from the mob. Michelle Ryder, the officer's sister and a member of North's police squad, decides to go undercover to find the real killer and clear her brother's name. Fearing that her father will stop her actions, she insists her plan remain a secret. Despite his protestations and misgivings, North finally agrees to serve as Michelle's back-up. As Michelle works her way into Bravelli's confidence, the chances of her discovery increase, and North realizes his concern for her safety is as much personal as professional. Michelle, however, is determined to avenge her brother's death.

Book: scott flanders, four to midnight
Continuing the investigation, North discovers startling and disturbing evidence, which places both him and Michelle in extreme jeopardy. In this stress-filled environment of personal danger, long held vendettas, mindless violence, and stunning revelations, Michelle and Eddy struggle to confront their personal values and to decide which side of the line they will choose to walk.

Flander writes with great imagination and a strong sense of authenticity. In Eddie North, Flander creates an intriguing and nicely developed protagonist who struggles to cope with the brutalities of the street and his own vulnerability. Although the denouement tiptoes perilously close to the melodramatic, the climactic scenes provide non-stop eye fluttering action. I'm guessing readers will eagerly look forward to another dose of Eddie North and his cops on the street action.

Clint Hunter

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