March 17, 1997 12:00 PM

by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

Rosenberg writes legal thrillers with strong female heroes who triumph over adversity; this time she leaves no woe uninfected. The troubles of Rachel Simmons, a rookie cop in a tiny Southern California town, mount so fast it’s hard for the reader—much less Rachel—to keep up. Sexually abused as a child, Rachel struggles to raise her two children after losing her husband to cancer. She’s weary from working double duty to pay his medical bills, and her best buddy on the force is pressuring her to perjure herself to back him on a DWI arrest. And that’s before she reports officers for horrific acts of police brutality.

An ex-cop herself, Rosenberg writes with authority about the job. And she manages to keep the tension high. But Rachel’s troubles and the novel’s maudlin finish may leave you more exhausted than enthralled. (Dutton, $23.95)

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