From the Tom Waits lyrics at the beginning, to the final lines when the manhunter stands over the handcuffed form of his prey, thinking, "Bring on the next contestant," Deadly Force
delivers the heart-pounding speed of an action movie. The story takes place in three bursts--11 hours in January '95 in New York City, a flashback to 2 days in May '94 in Washington, D.C., then 9 days more in January '95 to wrap up the chase. But the hero, U.S. Marshal Luke Zitto, doesn't just "get his man": through the voice of the author, Carsten Stroud, he spouts off about suits and bulls and furballs, tells one wild story after another, and illustrates, through his own misbegotten career, what he calls a "corrosive flood of institutional paranoia throughout the federal justice establishment."
Despite the sexy flash of its language, it's a solid, convincing book. You'll learn a lot here about the history of the U. S. Marshals and about the turf wars between the FBI, CIA, and several other three-letter agencies. The highly dramatic style, though, makes it hard to tell how much is factual. Maybe that's not a drawback, if Marshal Zitto's paranoia is justified. --Fiona Webster
From Publishers Weekly
In a prefatory note, Stroud (Close Pursuit) states that his goal is "to illustrate very disturbing trends in federal law enforcement." In this account of the career, from 1991 to 1995, of Marshal Luke Zitto, he concentrates on Zitto's major case, the search for a rapist and multiple murderer who hacked his victims to death with a tomahawk. The odyssey took Zitto from the South Bronx to Washington, D.C., to Buffalo and ended in the suspect's capture. Along the way, Stroud cites innumerable instances of interagency battling (FBI vs. DEA vs. ATF vs. USMS) and interdepartmental turf wars (Justice vs. Treasury), from which only the criminals profited. In a concluding note, he takes a pessimistic view of future federal law enforcement, fearing the FBI (which he doesn't like) will swallow up the other agencies. While his thesis is well substantiated, much of Stroud's book is written in a novelistic style.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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