Susan Dunlap. Cop Out (1997) 296 pp.
In Berkeley, Jill Smith, the people’s policewoman, investigates the
disappearance of an informant. The department disapproves of this; they
think she devotes too much time to bums and nobodies, but Jill feels nobodies
deserve police protection too. The missing man is Jill’s friend, counter-cultural
private eye Herman Ott, who vanishes when a flamboyant mediator of civic
disputes is found shot to death in his office. Fearing for his safety,
and defying the wishes of her department, Jill wades into the wild world
of Berkeley’s most contentious citizens to find out why Herman Ott is running
for his life.