Rhonda Johnson
July 25, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Steve Lopez, a former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, makes his bid to join the Carl Hiaasen school of journalists-turned-crime-fiction novelists with this affable romp about Lisa Savitch, an assistant DA assigned to bust a South Philly political machine. In a classic buddy story with a sexist twist, Savitch, described as a Grace Kelly-type ”thoroughbred,” joins forces with veteran FBI agent Mike Muldoon, who initially thinks more of ”running his hands up her little black skirt” than he does of her political conspiracy theories. Despite that lapse of imagination in The Sunday Macaroni Club, Lopez cooks up a respectable tangle of greed and corruption. B

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