Bomber’s Law

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Short Joey Mossi is an assassin for various criminal organizations, and the Boston Police Department is well aware of that fact. Still, evidence admissible in court is difficult to come by, and Bob Brennan is assigned to follow Mossi on a permanent basis. Brennan’s superiors are of the opinion that Mossi will, despite his awareness of the police presence, make a mistake at some point and they will be able to put him behind bars. Unfortunately, despite the constant surveillance Short Joey continues to elude capture. Nevertheless, the decision is made to stick with the original game plan, and thus Brennan, who is approaching retirement, is charged with training his successor.

Harry Dell’Appa considers the operation of dubious value, but he has little say in the matter. In consequence of an earlier transgression, Dell’Appa was banished to the suburbs, and the Mossi surveillance represents his only opportunity for redemption. As the days wear on, however, Dell’Appa begins to suspect that Brennan, for reasons unknown, prefers not to make an arrest although obvious crimes capable of prosecution exist. Dell’Appa opens an independent investigation and in the process unearths a truth long concealed and a species of corruption unexpected and yet not altogether without precedent.

The novels of George Higgins are always heavy with dialogue and characterized by plots that, replete with revelations that lead to blind alleys, twist and turn with unerring accuracy. In BOMBER’S LAW, Higgins carries his penchant to extremes never before realized. Higgins’ works have always demanded the reader’s close attention, but BOMBER’S LAW requires absolute concentration; not a single line of dialogue is without significance with respect to the denouement.