Lorenzo Carcaterra, Chasers Reviews

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“Chasers ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 28/03/2007

Lorenzo Carcaterra
Ballantine, April 2007, $25.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 034541098X

John Frontieri aka Boomer is an ex-cop with part of a lung missing but he is financially stable because he lives on three quarters of a pension with full health benefits. In 1982, he and other ex-cops who were injured and forced to retire formed the Apaches, a rogue police unit that went after and took down a drug queen and her entire posse. Three years later the Apaches, with three new members, are on the streets again to take down a South American drug lord called Angel who was a former priest before he turned to the dark side.

The reason Boomer and company, including Buttercup, a drug sniffing dog who can hold her own with the Apaches, wants Angel dead is because he ordered a hit on a couple of the G-men (Ceerzule brothers) in a restaurant and Boomer's niece was collateral damage. The new members are Ash, a former arson investigator scared by a fire, and Quincy, who is in the early stages of AIDS. They manipulate the various crime lords, having them at each others throats, accept help from the mob who wants a piece of Angel's turf and they take heavy chances that cost Angel big time. In the end, it is not their street smarts that determine the outcome but a little help from those on the wrong side of the law.

Many readers will wonder what the difference is between the Apaches and the criminals they battle and the answer is not much. Both cross the line into questionable activities as the Apaches act as judge, jury and executioners, not paying attention to civil rights. Surprisingly, for such a dark, shoot-em-up crime thriller, Lorenzo Carcaterra has a way with characterization that brings an anchor of reality to the mix. Dark humor, characters that are shades of grey and the belief that any means to an end is good are the hallmark elements of CHASERS.

Harriet Klausner

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