STANLEY MOODROW, the maverick cop hero of two excellent police procedurals favorably compared to the work of Joseph Wambaugh and Stephen J. Caunitz, retires frokm the NYPD after thirty-five years, and hangs out his P.I. shingle in Forced Entry (1990). But Stanley's jealously-guarded turf is still NYC's Lower East side and he still likes doing things his way. Stanley's a huge brute of a guy, and he can be ferociously single-minded. Not exactly a happy-go-lucky type, our Stanley. His years on the force may have left him with a lot of useful contacts, but it sure didn't leave him with many friends. His best (and possibly only) friend, Detective James Tilley, NYPD, calls him "the ultimate loner." That description, however, may have to be changed, now that Stanley seems to be spending quite a bit of time with Betty Haluka, Legal Aid lawyer.
It took a while for Solomita to really let Stanley spread his gumshoe wings. The third and fourth books in the series (Forced Entry and Bad To The Bone) may have been true private eye novels, but the first two, A Twist of the Knife (1988) and Force of Nature (1989), covered Stanley's last days as a police officer, and book five, A Piece of the Action (1992), was a flashback to his days as a rookie cop.
Finally, in 1996, after several so-so standalones, Solomita returned Stanley to the P.I. fold, with the powerful Damaged Goods, which saw the unrepentant tough dick sniffy 60, and dealing with both a prostate problem and a new partner, Guinevere Gadd, a young computer whiz whose high tech chops make for anice balance against Stanley's street smarts.
However, if you find yourself enjoying Stanley as a gumshoe, do yourself a favor and check out the whole series.
Solomita has also written a one-shot novel featuring New York private eye Marty Blake.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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