THE GLASS FACTORY by k. j. a. Wishnia
A FILOMENA BUSCARSELA MYSTERY
Dutton, June 2000
When ex-cop Filomena Buscarsela learns she is dying of lung cancer, she decides to get her revenge on Morse, the man who exposed her to the toxic chemicals that created her cancer. First, though, she has to provide solid evidence, and that's something suspiciously missing. Although Morse's factory appears to be poluting seriously and dozens of workers are sick, the county health officials seem blind. Their measures of the water toxicity seem to indicate that nothing is going on.
Filomena's investigations may not seem to be going anywhere to her, but someone is worried. She is attacked and served with papers accusing her of child abuse. Meanwhile, her cancer seems to be on an accelerated pace. She doesn't dare take time out for chemotherapy because it slows her down and one thing she doesn't have is time to be slow. Fortunately, Filomena retains a couple of friends in the police department and with the Environmental Protection Agency. When she gets a lucky break, she grabs it and brings in the big guns. Even then, though, Morse seems destined to walk away without any problem--and Filomena's biological clock is ticking way to fast to allow that to happen.
k. j. a. Wishnia has created an intriguing character in Filomena. Her toughness is set against a deep love for her daughter, preserving her humanity even when she steps over the line. A native of Equador, Filomena was formerly a revolutionary and still retains the anti-capitalistic beliefs of the left. At times, Wishnia's Ph.D. in Literature shows up, slowing down the narrative pace while taking the reader through literary criticism and references. Still, THE GLASS FACTORY is a well written adventure with an attractive protaganist and an intriguing story of toxic chemicals, corporate greed, all set in the suburbs of Long Island.
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