Bottom Liner Blues

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Rocksburg, Pennsylvania must find a new economic base, andquickly, or it will soon resemble the ghost towns of the Southwest. Although he understands the need to reduce city expenditures,enlightenment is small compensation for the fact that Mario Balzicis working harder and enjoying it less. Balzic might be the Chiefof Police, but it’s a hollow honor indeed when he is the onlyuniformed man on duty.

Unfortunately for Balzic, his professional life is not the onlyarea in which he must cope with new and unexpecteddevelopments—he must accept comprehensive changes in hispersonal life as well. First is the necessity to contend with theaftermath of his mother’s death (SUNSHINE ENEMIES), and that isanything but easy. He must also accept a new role with respect tohis beloved wife Ruth. Mario lost his mother, but Ruth lost a bestfriend and confidante, and she’s offering Mario the position. Mario is not positive he wants the job, but he is equally certaina refusal would mean the end of a marriage with which he isexceedingly comfortable.

Over the years, the pseudonymous K.C. Constantine has worked toexpand the boundaries of the police procedural, and BOTTOM LINERBLUES continues that tradition. But, if Constantine has developeda unique niche within the genre, this particular work evokes a mucholder tradition—that of the jeremiad. In BOTTOM LINER BLUESConstantine delivers himself of critical commentary abouteverything that raises his ire. He cusses and discusses America’splace in the world, the course and direction of American policies,the trials and economic tribulations of authors since seventeenthcentury England, and a number of other incidental topics along theway.