|Scott Flander: Four to Midnight|
Morrow (Hardcover), ISBN 0-06-018898-7
David Danforth, a black professor at the University of Pennsylvania, stands accused of the murder of Philadelphia police officer Bobby Boland. The impending trial draws super-heated media coverage, and the black community vents its rage. A web site encourages the wrath by publishing inflammatory rhetoric from a poster known only as Tarig who calls for the random shooting of police officers.
In the midst of the unrest, Police Sergeant Eddie North responds to a routine supervisory call and finds two members of his squad administering to a bloody and beaten victim whom he recognizes as black city councilman Sonny Knight. To North's surprise and dismay, Knight identifies the two police officers as his assailants. A search of the scene provides no witnesses, and when an unauthorized tow truck arrives to tow the victim's car, Knight accuses North of attempting a cover up to protect his officers. Charged with the allegations, North and his two squad members find themselves the target of an investigation by Internal Affairs with their jobs at stake and prison in their future. Strangely, the black police commissioner allows them to continue street duty.
As North struggles
to find the person actually behind the assault on Knight, another shocking
murder occurs that further inflames the community. An unknown avenger
takes to the streets to ambush and kill cops at random, but especially
targets North and his squad. The department bands together for mutual
protection. North, with the loving support of policewoman and girl friend
Michelle Ryder, works to keep his life together and clear his name.
While interviewing an informant, North stumbles upon an ongoing theft ring involving dirty cops, and he finds himself further entangled in a web of deceit and betrayal of trust. When offers of help come from an unexpected source, North enters into an unwanted partnership that places himself and his partners at risk of their lives.
In this, the second of the Eddie North series, author Flander reprises the themes of the mistrust between the black community and the police, the struggle of cops on the street to maintain both their own sense of honor and the integrity of their profession, and the unwavering bond of loyalty and trust that exists among these comrades. This book, however, delivers an even more tightly written plot than its predecessor. Taut with suspense, it sustains an overriding sense of tension until the turning of the last page. I found it an enjoyable read and a worthy follow-up to the first Eddie North adventure.
Click here to read Clint Hunter's review of Scott Flander's Sons of the City.
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