Pantheon, Jun 2003, 23.00, 210 pp.
Boston Police Inspector Francis X. Flynn uses his investigative work as a means to cover his espionage efforts. Currently most of his allies and comrades still in the cold believe he is dead, which is fine by Flynn, as he prefers the warm home life of raising five children with his poet wife. Still he has to take leaves of absence due to the deaths of his mother at least five times as he makes no real effort to conceal his extended times Someone much higher up in the hierarchy tells his superior to wink and blink in silence.
Currently, Flynn works several local cases simultaneously. His thirteen-year-old daughter wakes him up “in the middle of the night” to take him to a cemetery where her friend a high school wrestler has his ear nailed to a tree. His superiors want Flynn to investigate the harassment of a Harvard University professor. He personally looks into the arrest record of a cop who has an arrest record of 100% minorities and 0% whites.
Told tongue in cheek by the author of Fletch, Flynn is an interesting lead protagonist who allows nothing to get inside his stomach. The cases are weak as they never tax the hero's intelligence, but serve as irony, showing that even the great ones have to deal with the mundane (Jordan playing a full NBA regular season schedule each year before shining in the “second season”). Though often amusing, in a world when homeland security trumps almost everything else, an underutilized espionage expert with police experience seems ironically wrong even for a satire.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner