Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Best And Worst Cop In New York

Perhaps, but definitely one of the shittiest books in or out of New York. Belmont Tower Books published at least three Joe Blaze novels--maybe at the same time, because I can't believe 1974's THE BIG PAYOFF, the first of the series, sold many copies. The plot is extremely simple and thin, the characters despicable, and the action routine. If some television writer turned this in to KOJAK, he'd be kicked out on the street. Hell, this wouldn't even make it into the BERT D'ANGELO/SUPERSTAR offices.

So, what I'm trying to say is that Super Cop Joe Blaze really sucks. Obviously, he's a pissed-off lone-wolf type of homicide detective. Whether he's also a drunk and a burnout, who knows, because author Robert Novak doesn't provide enough characterization for us to find out anything about anyone. There isn't even a "big" payoff in the book; merely a small one that leads to an inconsequential subplot that exists only to pad the word count and get this paperback up to 173 dumb pages.

Blaze is called in to investigate a "sex killer" after a prostitute is found raped and stabbed in her apartment. The mystery angle is barely there, as Blaze and his partner Ed Nuthall fairly quickly discover the murderer's identity by following some simple clues. Nearly thirty pages are left when he's apprehended, so, of course, the "bleeding heart" judge lets out a guy indicted on nine murder charges on $1000 bail (suurrrrrre, he does), just so Novak can have the dude attack another woman. One shootout, a car chase and two massive fistfights fill the action quotient, but none of it is suspenseful or imaginative.

The question remains as to whether or not the author is also the prominent Washington pundit. The book is certainly right-wing and simpleminded enough to be him.

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