Special Operations (Badge of Honor)
This police procedural, the second in the Badge of Honor series, ostensibly concerns efforts to nab a serial rapist at large in Philadelphia, but the real subjects here are the interior lives of police officers and the department politics that complicate their jobs. Unlike the genre's often embittered flatfoots who are more like their quarry than the people they serve, Dugan's ( Men in Blue ) cops, zealous recruits in the freshly minted Special Operations division, are boyish, sexy, respectful, and always and unambiguously the good guys. The plot contains practically no overt violence or graphic sex--usually the stock-in-trade of contemporary cops-and-robbers yarns--and chief characters are credibly fashioned. Pleasant enough on its own terms, the book lacks the meticulous detail and shake-'em-up style that most procedural fans expect.