Books: One Shade of Blue

THE COMMISSIONER (368 pp.)—Richard Dougherty—Doubleday ($4.95).

Grown men of solid accomplishment have been known to quiver with boyish delight over toy electric trains, newly netted butterflies, or the music of Wagner. But if their secret passions have left them with the remains of reason, they keep their infatuation from public eyes; the world never understands. The dark secret of Richard Dougherty is that he likes cops. A stretch as pressagent for the New York City police department did nothing, oddly enough, to tarnish his fondness.

This may account for the spongy patches that appear much too frequently in a novel that is otherwise...

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