That there's an Establishment in any big city cop shop is no surprise, but the pols, police, press, and prosecutors who hang out together in W.E.B. Griffin's Philadelphia are so tightly connected that there's hardly any room to breathe in this Badge of Honor thriller. While a couple of minor characters from outside this old-boys' network make a few cursory appearances, plus the obligatory perp, it's mostly an inside story about golden boy Matt Payne, Main Line scion and third generation cop who's just been promoted to Homicide, and his mentors, friends, and family. The perp is a clever psychopath who rapes and murders his way across country while he's buying and selling exotic cars. Griffin fills in the story with plenty of carefully detailed department procedures in this newest in one of his many bestselling series (Honor Bound, Men at War, Brotherhood of War, The Corps). Justice triumphs and, of course, there's plenty of hero worship and not a flawed cop on the force, which won't surprise or displease the author's legion of true blue fans. --Jane Adams
Fred S. (USA: PA) (2009/09/16): Enlightening and hugely entertaining. Griffin's many fans will not be disappointed.