In The Quality of the Informant, Charles Carr, T-Man, depends heavily on informants in his pursuit of pushers, passers, and makers of "paper" - all those in the thriving business of counterfeiting. Informants are as much a part of the seamy, violent Los Angeles underworld as are the crooks they inform on, and they are crucial to Carr's effort to track down Paul LaMonica, a smooth thug whose skill at manufacturing paper is matched by his murderous amorality.|
There are a great many victims in the bloody chase LaMonica leads Carr, a trail that runs from L.A. to Houston to San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico - and the informants are among them; informing is a dangerous game. As readers of Gerald Petievich's earlier books know, the excitement of the pursuit is matched by the vivid authenticity of the gritty world he depicts. Conventional morality is irrelevant in this world, whether for the crooks or for the lawmen - though this taut novel is indeed a powerfully moral tale.