Peter Plate. Snitch Factory (1997) 180 pp. [tpo]
Publisher’s description: “Charlene Hassler, a social worker at the
huge, anthill-like Department of Social Services complex on San Francisco’s
Otis Street, is a literary tour de force. Straight out of Dante’s Inferno,
[the] DSS is an eternal holding pen of unfulfilled needs and desires. Charlene
is under investigation, and snitches are everywhere. A co-worker is murdered.
Charlene’s boss and former mentor spends amorous afternoons with her arch-enemy.
The custodian burglarizes her desk, then shoots her in the knee after he
imagines she’s ratted on him. As the anger and chaos at DSS reach epic
proportions, we witness the strange heroism of Charlene’s co-workers when
they foil a hold-up; her boss’s real vulnerability after a suicide attempt;
and Charlene herself triumphantly winning her personal battle for romance
in this true human comedy.” The second novel in the author’s Mission Quartet.