Cover image for Saving room for dessert
Saving room for dessert
Constantine, K. C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press/Warner Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
294 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Lackawanna Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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For former Air Force veteran and ex-mall security guard William Rayford, making the cut as Rocksburg's first African American cop fulfilled one of his life's ambitions, even though it sometimes still gives him a case of the Steel City Blues. Rayford well-knows this town's dark history of prejudice, but dealing with it is something else. Now, with his fellow officers, Rayford is ready for whatever Rocksburg throws his way, even if it means patrolling the river flats, where things can get deadly pretty quickly.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Sixteen of Constantine's Rocksburg novels feature two protagonists: a cop and the failed Pennsylvania steel town itself. For nearly two decades, the cop was Mario Balzic, a rumpled, shrewd, and decent chief of police. But Constantine retired Mario a few books ago and replaced him with the equally sympathetic Detective Ruggerio "Rugs" Carlucci. Now, in the seventeenth in the series, Constantine changes structure and focuses on three Rocksburg cops who patrol the Flats, an area of the city known for domestic disputes that often become deadly. Officer William Rayford prays for a thunderstorm that will keep the feuding Bucyks and Hornyaks, not to mention the certifiable Scavellis, indoors. His prayers aren't answered, however, and Rayford and fellow cops Reseta and Canozza all find themselves drawn into a lunatic situation that ends tragically. As in all the Rocksburg novels, there are few heroes and even fewer real villains--just ordinary people coping with inner demons, personal tragedies, and a bewildering world that has passed them by. One effect of the ensemble approach this time is that interior monologues of the three featured cops largely replace the achingly authentic dialogue that has driven the previous books. But rest assured that Constantine's monologues are every bit as effective as his superb dialogue. Another outstanding addition to a consistently top-level series. --Thomas Gaughan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Where Constantine's earlier books (Grievance, etc.) followed the exploits of police chief Mario Balzic and detective Rugs Carlucci of the Rocksburg, Pa., police department, this one brilliantly shadows three beat cops: William Rayford, Robert Canoza and James Reseta. The events, trivial and wrenching, of one evening shift reveal an enormous amount about each man. Rayford, the only black man in the department, has been the smartest, fittest candidate for every job he's ever sought, but he couldn't protect his son from the idiocy of his mother-in-law, nor is he strong enough to free himself from his disdainful, distant wife. Canoza always forgets to wear his bulletproof vest maybe not a death wish, but surely some sort of ambiguity. He doesn't have a problem taking care of menacing bikers, but he does have a problem with little old ladies locked out of their cars. It doesn't help his image when he makes them cry. Reseta is still fighting the Vietcong and the bullies from his childhood. As a therapist describes it, Reseta walks around with a bomb in his head. He struggles daily to defuse it, using the wisdom of talk-show guests and whatever else he can. These three patrolmen travel the town in their mobile units, satellites moving slowly but surely across the darkened neighborhoods; at times their orbits cross. The threads of various plots are woven beautifully into this story, but clearly it's not about action, but about these men. The richness of detail, the thousand subtle touches of character, make their lives, their issues, absolutely riveting. (Aug. 22) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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