Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyTelevision writer Hardwick (Me and the Boys) crosses media with ease in his first novel, a gritty, boisterous crime thriller featuring a tough, savvy-and volatile-Detroit homicide cop. Inspector Tony Hill, head of the Special Crimes unit, is called in to investigate the mutilation murder of a crack cocaine dealer whose hands have been severed by a psychopath. The case quickly falls into place as one of a series of similar, drug-related killings, with the murderer, dubbed ``the Handyman,'' identified in a politically explosive turn of events as Caucasian. The killings continue as cops and drug lords alike take to the streets to stop the macabre blood bath. Meanwhile, a trio of hustlers blows into town with the formula for manufacturing Cold Medina, a cheap, super-addictive version of crack cocaine. After the streets are saturated with Medina, the drug is discovered to produce unpredictable aggressive behavior. Set against the political pressures of a hotly contested, racially tense mayoral race, this fast-paced, suspenseful chiller, which can hold its own with the N.Y.C.-set crime thrillers of Stephen Solomita, is fraught with intriguing situations and offbeat characters-not the least of whom is Tony Hill, one cop who definitely deserves another literary tour of duty. (Feb.)
Library JournalTony Hill is an inspector for the Detroit police force. When drug dealers' bodies-minus their hands-begin to pile up in the city and evidence points to a white killer, near chaos erupts. As Hill and his partner try to solve the crimes, personal and other matters complicate the investigation. Hill is racked by guilt over a criminal's death, for which he feels responsible. A vicious new drug called Medina is being dumped into the streets in vast amounts. Finally, Hill must take a forced leave of absence and pursue the killer on his own. Television writer Hardwick's first novel captures the gritty feel of big-city police work and the plot moves swiftly through numerous short chapters. Yet the ending is a disappointment, and Hardwick's writing style often has a rushed, scriptlike feel. Buy where police procedurals are popular.-A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Thomas GaughanThe ordinarily mean streets of Detroit are approaching a meltdown. When forensic evidence shows that a serial killer who has been mutilating the corpses of black drug kingpins is white, the city's simmering race relations reach a full boil. In addition, a new drug called Medina, a much-more-lethal and hallucinogenic variant of crack, has hit the streets, and Tony Hill, the young black star of the police department, must find the killer and shut off the supply of both the drug and the crime it spawns. Screenwriter Hardwick's first novel maintains the pace of a car chase. He writes knowingly about his desperate hometown, its politics, cops, and drug culture. In Hardwick's Detroit, there are no heroes; the police, press, and city officials are only slightly more principled than the drug lords. This isn't great literature, but it is sure to be compelling entertainment for those who like a vicarious walk on the wild side.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 6.43(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.36(d)
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