Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scorch City-Toby Ball

Scorch City
Toby Ball
St. Martin’s, Aug 30 2011, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312580834

In 1950 in the City reporter Frank Frings awakens Police Lieutenant Piet Westermann in the middle of the night. He asks the ethical cop to help him move the corpse of a blonde found on the riverbank near the affluent Uhuru Community. Frings believes if the competing powers learn a murdered while female was found inside the Negro community, all hell would break out. Reluctantly he agrees to move the body though he knows tampering would end his career while he also considers investigating though likewise that could be a career killer too as he is the most loathed cop in the City for his mathematical police deployment System.

The case turns nasty with more related deaths and all sorts of religious and racial bigotry. Much of the media’s jaundiced commentary adds to heated exchanges as the Communist scare is played up. However what makes the inquiry particularly ugly is election year politics using the victims as vote getters.

Fifteen years have passed since The Vaults were opened up, but the City remains trapped in a corrupt system that destroys good honest people. Scorch City is an exhilarating police procedural which focuses on the good, the bad and the ugly in a society in which corruption, connections and bigotry are the engines to success. Readers will see parallels to the McCarthy-KKK era as it will not take much for the righteous to turn Uhuru into Scorch City.

Harriet Klausner

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