by Baxter Clare
Detective L. A. Franco is back!
For Frank, L.A.P.D. Homicide Lieutenant L. A. Franco and her homicide squad, it’s business as usual—a multiple murder, ugly as it is, at least seems to have an easy explanation. Until it coincides with an untimely drive-by shooting.
The drive-by victim is Placa Estrella, a rising young Chicana gang-banger. Placa was a toddler on the streets when Franco was just a rookie, and for her Placa’s death is personal. The murder appears to be a routine gang hit, but as Frank tracks every lead to it’s logical conclusion, it becomes apparent that this case is anything but routine.
The investigation ultimately pulls Frank and her squad in conflicting directions while drawing Frank closer to the county’s new Chief Coroner, Gail Lawless. Through a series of twists and turns, all of Frank’s leads eventually bring her to the disquieting possibility that the killer she seeks might well be one of own brothers in blue.
Lambda Book Report
Martha Miller - October, 2003: Lieutenant L.A. Franko (Frank) supervises a group of homicide detectives in the South Central section of Los Angeles in Street Rules, a noirish, true-to-form, hard-boiled detective novel. A taut, gritty thriller with a protagonist in the tradition of Raymond Chandler's detective, Philip Marlow, Frank is a loner; a strong, brooding, quiet, heavy-drinking, streetwise (somewhat) loner. But Baxter Clare goes Raymond Chandler one better. Things have changed in L.A. since the 1930s and the system in which Frank works to bring justice and order is corrupt..."