Forge, Dec 2000, 24.95, 334 pp.
Chicago police officer Suze Figueroa and her partner Norm Bennis know how ugly the city streets can become. The duo deals with crime, mostly petty in nature, on a daily basis. However, Suze and Norm soon find themselves involved in an even uglier scenario when much of the Second City?s detective force call in sick with food poisoning following the retirement dinner of the chief detective.
Suze and Norm are temporally promoted to help work the crisis. The brass assigns them two nasty cases: a serial killer and a pediophile. The murderer uses the homeless as his prey while the molester relishes attacking pre-teen aged girls.
Even more now than when she patrolled, Suze sees her home as her castle of normalcy, a place for her to relax and regain her soul. Unbeknownst to the dedicated cop is that the pediophile has moved into her home living in her attic while learning more about his adversary with a plan to punish her for disturbing one of his felonies.
The subplots starring a serial killer and a pediophile sound trite as they have been overkilled over the past few years. However, in the hands of the award winning Barbara D?Amato both themes seem so fresh readers will believe AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY has introduced new concepts. The story line is a combination police procedural and thriller, but what makes it so good is the depth to the characters, especially Suze, whose professional and personal lives are opened up like a book for the reader to peruse and understand. Rarely do police novels attain that level of excellence as this tale does.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner