Deadly Assets: A Badge of Honor Novel
Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is full of anything but love this year the week before Christmas. Now nicknamed “Killadelphia” by the media, the city is besieged by murder after murder, all of which are seemingly unrelated to one another. Homicide Sergeant Matt Payne must find threads, if any, that will possibly link these random deaths.
Public outrage over the killings stains community and police relations, especially when Payne is put in charge of the investigations. The Mayor’s Citizens Oversight Committee, led by social activist Reverend Josiah Cross, blames the police, specifically Payne, for the unrest. Payne has been cleared of any wrongdoing in three previous shootings, but Cross labels the 27-year-old officer as ”Public Enemy Number One” and encourages his followers to treat violence with violence.
"Griffin and Butterworth once again deliver an action-packed drama that could be picked from any newspaper’s pages in today’s busy world."
Recent brutalities include the stabbing death of a young female college student, the kidnapping of a child outside Santa’s Village, a shooting spree in a casino, and the gruesome hacking death of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and his wife. W. E. B. Griffin and his son, William E. Butterworth IV, fill the pages of DEADLY ASSETS with a vast array of characters. As the story unfolds, each person’s importance is whittled down to where he or she can be of most service to Payne and his team.
Meanwhile, Payne finds out that Cross plans a protest rally later that afternoon at his church site. The Reverend’s grandiose plan includes appearances by a popular rap artist and his mentor in public service, City Councilman H. Rapp Badde Jr., who appointed him to the Citizens Police Oversight Committee for a five-year term.
One positive for Payne comes in the person of Daquan Williams. Rumor has it that King-Two-One-Five knows who is responsible for the latest drive-by shooting or who ordered it done. Talking in the Daily Grind, the coffee shop where Williams busses tables, they are interrupted by a hail of gunfire, and both are injured in the aftermath.
When Mayor Jerome H. Carlucci tries to work with police to stave off more killing sprees, he is reminded by associates that Philadelphia could find itself in the same shameful situation as bankrupt Detroit. The criminal element moves in to harvest its share of the political and financial pie. But Carlucci believes in his law enforcement cadre, convinced that they are up to the task.
Philadelphia appears to be a hornet’s nest of unanswered crime, under-the-table business dealings in city property, drug cartels’ influence and general lawlessness. A wide swath of criminal influence must be curbed, and although numerous players move in and out of the story, the necessary ones play to the finale.
Griffin and Butterworth once again deliver an action-packed drama that could be picked from any newspaper’s pages in today’s busy world.
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on September 11, 2015