Bill Tasker, a thirty-something detective in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), suffers from low self-esteem caused by a bum rap in West Palm Beach of which he was cleared four years earlier. He's a good cop, and has been transferred to Miami where he's working robbery cases with FBI task force. While the city braces for impending race riots over a jury decision, contents of a safe-deposit box are stolen from a neighborhood bank--the take is more than a million dollars. Four people knew about the stash in the bank, and all had plans to steal it; one of them accuses Tasker of the crime.
Tasker is suspended from duty and from the FBI operations. He embarks on a private investigation to clear his name. The evidence he finds all leads to dead ends--literally--as potential informants and suspects are murdered. Tasker is suspected of those killings, too. His ex-wife seems to support him, his super sexy FDLE girlfriend seems to support him, but he knows it's all up to him. As the money changes hands between the independent thieves, Tasker suspects crooked cops and FBI agents. He eventually gets help from an unexpected source, and is instrumental in catching the perp who set him up and recovering the money.
The story is told through the view point of all the major characters, but even knowing who the bad guys are doesn't hint at the twists in this story of incredible greed and scheming.
This report prepared by K Cheatham
Putnam, Jul 2004, 23.95, 272 pp.
Florida state police brass felt fellow officer Bill Tasker killed a cop, but wanted to avoid the messy scandal of an inquiry. Thus, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement transferred him from the West Palm Beach Field Office to the Miami Regional Center. Bill would have welcomed the investigation because he knows he did not kill the cop, but goes along with the bureaucracy because he does not trust the political hacks who run the department. Four years later, he still watches his step.
Former convict Cole Hodges embezzled one and half million dollars of money donated to Miami's Committee for Community Relief. Tasker investigates the shortfall. However, FBI Agent Tom Dooley decides to take the loot. To insure that he gets away with the crime and knowing he has the perfect pasty, he stuffs cash in Tasker's outdoor grill; Tasker is investigated and pulled off the embezzlement case. Police officer Rick Bema concludes that Dooley stole the money and set up Tasker to take the fall. Instead of turning in his findings, Bema makes a bid for a piece of the action.
WALKING MONEY is a wild Florida police procedural filled with cops coming down with gold fever while the only police officer who stays pristine becomes the prime suspect. Fans will think of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with everyone double crossing and chasing one another in pursuit of the embezzled funds. The bad cops make the tale a fun police procedural, but the tainted divorced Bill, father of a ten year old, keeps the tale focused so that the audience will appreciate a zany cynical ride.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner