cover image The Odds

The Odds

Kathleen George, . . Minotaur/Dunne, $24.95 (343pp) ISBN 978-0-312-54999-2

Four extraordinary and resilient youngsters lift George's enjoyable fourth police procedural to feature Pittsburgh homicide chief Richard Christie and his team (after 2007's Afterimage ). On loan to another department, detectives Colleen Greer and John Potocki pursue a narcotics investigation that meshes with a drug-related shooting. Meanwhile, the four Philips children—Meg, 13; Joel, 11; Laurie, 10; and Susannah, seven—are trying to cope with the desertion of their stepmother, who had told Meg to wait a couple of days before seeking foster care. Instead, they set about making do with limited resources but unlimited resolve. When Joel runs across a dead man and a wounded man in an abandoned house, the four decide to help the wounded man avoid the law and the drug dealer on his trail. George doesn't neglect the police work as Greer and Potocki effectively chase down clues, but it's the kids who are heroic in a world where few adults can be trusted. (June)