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book cover of Tainted Evidence

Tainted Evidence

A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
Daley is not at his best in this sketchy combination of a police procedural and a courtroom drama. A minor hoodlum named Lionel Epps shoots five cops during a botched arrest in Harlem. For political reasons, responsibility for the prosecution falls on assistant DA Karen Henning, who has to deal with allegations of drug dealing and police corruption from Epps's lawyer, veiled threats from the police commissioner and an activist minister, and betrayal within her own department, not to mention domestic problems with her husband and their two kids. The case is fraught with racial, sexual and political tensions--all of which, unfortunately, are indicated instead of developed in the course of a book that seems more like a first draft than a finished novel. Although individual scenes are crisply written and the dialogue is sharp, the overall narrative is slight and unsatisfying; it lacks closure, depth and exposition. Falling short of the standards he set in such books as Prince of the City and Year of the Dragon , Daley fails to deliver on the expectations he arouses in this novel.

BookList - Eloise Kinney
New York assistant district attorney Karen Henning has a husband and family in the burbs, but her career just keeps distracting her from life's better things. First she is handed the Lionel Epps case (Epps shot five police officers who were attempting to arrest him and is pleading innocent). Then, when the DA suffers a fatal heart attack, the governor appoints her acting district attorney of Manhattan. Suddenly, suburbia seems awfully distant, and husband Hank, unsupportive; Henning begins to rely more and more on suave detective Mike Barone, whose involvement with the Epps case makes it only natural that the two should work so closely together. What gives this book its gripping weight is the realism with which Daley, author of "Prince of the City" (1978), among others, draws the characters--they are human, in a way most big-city crime-book characters are not. No stereotypes, no pat dilemmas, but a strong female protagonist, an affirming ending, and an engrossing read from page one.

Kirkus Reviews
All of Daley's thrillers deal with crime and cops, but each from a unique angle-the melodramatic sleuthings of Hands of a Stranger (1985), for instance, or the period capers of the Dangerous Edge (1983). Here, in a confident nod to the legal thriller, Daley offers a somber, steadily gripping tale of what might happen if a drug-dealer were to gun down five Manhattan cops during an arrest-gone-wrong. Daley's hero here isn't a cop at all, in fact, but A.D.A. Karen Henning, who's assigned the apparently open-and-shut case against the dealer. Daley works up Henning's background vigorously, focusing on her shaky family life-her husband resents her success-and firing up readers to root for her as she's suddenly named D.A. and dives into a torrid affair with a cop involved in the case. Henning needs the sympathy, for arrayed against her is legendary defender Justin McCarthy (read: William Kunstler), as well as pressures flowing from the city/state establishment-envious co- workers; the anxious governor who appointed her D.A.; a black community that sees the trial as an outrage; a police commissioner and his cop-army that won't abide a not-guilty verdict. And then there's Mike Barone, one of the cops whose cowboy tactics led to the shootout, and whose action-exploits counterpoint Henning's legal moves throughout; his attentions lead Henning into a new and devastating eroticism. It's a rich tapestry of city life, but one that threatens to suffocate Henning even as, after much legal maneuvering, the verdict comes in...a surprise for all, including the reader. Daley's mean streets don't sweat like Stephen Solomita's, and his Gotham courtroom doesn't crackle like Robert K.Tanenbaum's-but for strong, nonsensational drama that reveals all the rhythms of the city in their intricate syncopation, no one does it better.


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Used availability for Robert Daley's Tainted Evidence

Hardback Editions

March 1993 : USA Hardback

Title: Tainted Evidence: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Daley
ISBN: 0-316-17196-4 / 978-0-316-17196-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

March 1994 : USA Mass Market Paperback

Title: Tainted Evidence
Author(s): Robert Daley
ISBN: 0-446-60083-0 / 978-0-446-60083-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vision
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

March 1994 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: Tainted Evidence
Author(s): Robert Daley
ISBN: 1-56054-872-X / 978-1-56054-872-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: G K Hall Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2009 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Tainted Evidence
Author(s): Robert Daley
Publisher: Riviera Productions Ltd.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA