William Morrow/ Harper Collins
Date: July 2003
it at Amazon
Notes: Strong Language
Reviewer Susan McBride is the
author of "Overkill."
Four to Midnight is the second
police procedural by Scott Flander, a reporter for the Philadelphia
Daily News, and it starts off with a bang as two white cops are
accused of beating up a city councilman named Sonny Knight, "The
most powerful black man in Philadelphia." The incident follows
another racially charged battle between the black community and
the police involving the trial of a college professor arrested for
murdering a white cop. With tensions already high, Sergeant Eddie
North knows he's got to handle things carefully. He tells his cops,
Mutt and Roy, not to talk to anyone but their attorney, and he avoids
the press like the plague. But Councilman Knight is all too eager
to tell his story to anyone who'll listen.
and Roy swear that they found Knight already bloodied and unconscious
on the road beside his Mercedes, and Eddie wants to believe that
they had nothing to do with the crime. When no one will listen and
even Internal Affairs doesn't seem to be looking in any other direction
but at Mutt and Roy, Eddie starts to investigate on his own, and
finds more worms under the rocks than he bargained for.
enough, in a novel that focuses on color--particularly black and
white--there is a lot of gray area explored, as Eddie finds that
bad guys come in all shades and good guys aren't always so good.
I liked the sense of feeling off-balance and of not being sure which
characters I could trust. Four to Midnight didn't end quite
as strongly as it started, and I would've like to have seen more
conflict between the cops and the councilman. Still, it was an engaging
read for the most part and should satisfy fans of police procedurals.