Abuse of Power

( 5 )


Rachel Simmons, an idealistic thirty-four-year-old widow with two children to raise, joins the Oak Grove, California police force for reasons that go beyond economic necessity. Upholding the law has had a special meaning for Rachel ever since she was kidnapped as a child and her life was saved by a courageous policeman.

When Rachel witnesses a vicious abuse of police authority-and reports it-she propels herself into a nightmare of conflict and terror. By cracking the sacred blue...

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Rachel Simmons, an idealistic thirty-four-year-old widow with two children to raise, joins the Oak Grove, California police force for reasons that go beyond economic necessity. Upholding the law has had a special meaning for Rachel ever since she was kidnapped as a child and her life was saved by a courageous policeman.

When Rachel witnesses a vicious abuse of police authority-and reports it-she propels herself into a nightmare of conflict and terror. By cracking the sacred blue code of silence, she has made enemies of the very men and women who hold her life in their hands-armed adversaries who are accustomed to exercising their power and will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

Suddenly there is danger everywhere. Rachel's children are threatened, her name is slandered, a shooting frame-up puts her on the legal defensive, and someone is bent on her death. She is alone, increasingly afraid, and forced to rely on an ambitious attorney whose motives she questions, even as he seems to offer a way out.

With its riveting revelations of the harsh reality of life behind the badge and a plot that moves from shock to shock, Abuse of Power bristles with danger and excitement, both on the streets, and in court. Its shattering conclusion will make readers think hard about many issues in today's headlines. This compelling novel shows Nancy Taylor Rosenberg at her best.

When a ferocious hurricane rips through southern Florida, the con artists and carpetbaggers waste no time in swarming over the disaster area. 2 cassettes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hiaasen's latest madcap romp across southern Florida presents an apocalyptic panorama of the region in the wake of a storm much like Hurricane Andrew. Transforming a suburban sprawl into a lawless frontier, the hurricane puts on a collision course a demented cast of tourists, scam artists and eccentrics: New York ad exec Max Lamb, who decides to spice up his Orlando honeymoon by taking his bride and his camcorder into the teeth of the storm; Skink, the swamp-dwelling former Florida governor (last seen in Native Tongue) who kidnaps Max in an effort to teach him to respect the land; Edie March, a seductive grifter who hatches a half-baked personal-injury scam with the help of Snapper, a sadistic ex-con; and Augustine, the altruistic son of a jailed drug smuggler, who juggles skulls to relax. Also mobilized are a mob enforcer with a penchant for crucifixions, a voodoo-practicing building inspector and a number of menacing escaped animals. In his sixth novel, less a straightforward thriller than a sprawling slice of life, Hiaasen dexterously resolves his many subplots, uniting the principals in a climactic chase across the swampland-while adding sting to his perpetual theme: the unrelenting depredation of Florida's cultural and natural heritage. 200,000 first printing. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Take one devastating Florida hurricane, a New York couple on their honeymoon, a skull-juggling but sensitive guy, one former governor turned Everglades hermit, two small-time con artists, a corrupt building inspector, two state troopers, a hapless insurance agent, and what do you have? The recipe for Hiaasen's (Native Tongue, LJ 9/1/91) sixth novel, a delightful romp that is by turns hilarious and moving. These strange characters maneuver through a broken landscape as if born to it, and the author's control of both style and narrative keeps the novel from slipping into silliness. The crimes plotted are minor aspects of a fiction that explores the intersection of the grotesque and the human. Buy wherever good fiction is read. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/95.]-A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Kirkus Reviews
The heroine sports a police uniform instead of a lawyer's suit, but everything else is mayhem as usual in Rosenberg's latest dip into female legal paranoia (Trial by Fire, 1996; California Angel, 1995, etc.).

Oak Grove is nothing like neighboring L.A., if only because the police department is squeaky clean. But Rachel Simmons, who all but saw fellow officer Jimmy Townsend plant a handgun on a drunk driver with bad attitude, wonders if the reason for the department's sterling reputation is that everybody's covering for everybody else. Well, Rachel, who's idolized cops ever since one of them rescued her from a molester 25 years ago, isn't one to cover up anything. When a beach party ends with preening Officer Grant Cummings groping her, she threatens to file a complaint against him. And when a teen gang fight ends in a fatal shooting Cummings could have prevented, she won't keep quiet, even though all the other officers present back up Cummings, leaving her the only one holding hands (and more) with prosecutor Michael Atwater. Retaliation follows when a routine late-night call turns into a fatal encounter, Rachel's backup units innocently fail to respond, and she swears out complaints against virtually the entire squad, who naturally close ranks even more tightly. The territory is familiar enough; Rosenberg's contribution is to present Rachel's adversary not as a faceless bureaucracy but as an extended family, puzzled and hurt by her defection, even as they're pushing her toward a financial disaster that would break up her family (her bright, willful daughter Tracy's already plotting just how big a price she'll have to pay to bail mom out), drive her from her home and job, and destroy her life.

Written without the slightest subtlety or complexity, but at a barn-burning pace that practically guarantees big sales for an audience whose own problems will be dwarfed by Rachel's.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440148637
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/29/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Q: Do you use a computer to write and if so, what kind of computer do you use?

A: I use a Pentium 133 MhZ system, with 16MB EDO RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive, 6X CD-ROM, and a 17" Princeton Graphics monitor. All of my books have been written in WordPerfect version 6.0.

Q: Do you ever see yourself experimenting in new genres of literature, writing completely different types of books than you are now?

A: I wrote California Angel, which was totally different from my thrillers. Although I attracted scores of devoted readers who might never have picked up one of my suspense novels, some of my other fans were upset that they had to wait for the next thriller. Readers should embrace an author's attempt to write something fresh and original, rather than force them into remaining in the same genre throughout their entire career. That's why authors get stale.

Q: What's the most bizarre police call that you ever responded to in your years of working for various law enforcement agencies?

A:An incident that stands out in my mind is the man who attempted to behead himself with a razor blade. I peered down at his throat and saw his vocal cords were fully exposed, certain he was dead. His eyes flew open and he started talking just when I was calling for a coroner.

Q: Former lawyers- and stockbrokers-turned-novelists have told us about the mixed reactions they received when they left their careers to pursue writing full-time. What kind of reaction did you receive from your former law enforcement coworkers?

A:  I remain in contact with many of the officers I worked with during my career. They seem pleased with my success. I had already left law enforcement when I decided to write my first novel, so it wasn't as if I had to make a decision between one career or the other.

Q: How do you feel about having coffee cafés in bookstores?

A:  I think cafés in bookstores are fun. The Barnes & Noble superstores are quite the happening place, particularly for singles. I'd much rather hang out in a bookstore than a bar. For women, this is a great environment. They feel safe and are probably more receptive to striking up a conversation with a stranger. For some reason, men seem more appealing in a bookstore.

Q: What, to you, is the most important day of the year?

A: The most important day of the year is today!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2004

    I was on the edge of my seat every second!

    I could not put this book down! At work I would look forward to the minute I could get home and pick up the book to find out what happens to Rachel. Of course nothing could have prepared me for how it would end, I was shocked and sat there with my mouth open even after I had finished the book. I would recommend this book to anyone and I really want to read it again. It was the most suspensful novel I have ever read and I can't wait to read more of Nancy Taylor Rosenberg's work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2003

    I identified with the main character!

    I've never been on the police force, but as an English major and a person who has read a lot, I can recognize realistic fiction when I read it. When you read this book you feel like you are there and working right next to the heroine, the brave policewoman, Rachel. In usual Nancy Taylor Rosenberg fashion, it is a page turner! The most chilling part of this is the fact that a lot of an honest cop's problems are right there in the police force itself, among the people who are supposed to be enforcing the law! Enjoy the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    enjoy your life

    book was excellent! my heart was in it. could not put book down. the ending was bitter sweet.i even forgot that ratso was still on the run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2001

    Great book - very bizarre ending

    I found this book to be very entertaining and found the main character to be very appealing and could relate to the conflicts she was experiencing! As the other reviews have mentioned the ending is unlike any you have read. I was stunned for several minutes after reading it - I guess I get into the books too much and fell victim to this one as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2000

    Abuse of Power Can be Deadly!

    I enjoyed every page of this book. I liked and respected the main character. Without giving anything away just when you think that alls well that ends well - BOOM - you will be in for the shock of your life! I am what I call a chain-reader and I have never read a book with this kind of ending.

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