A pair of cops hunt the killer of the most beautiful hooker on Chicago's North Side. On a blistering Chicago afternoon, the Cubs are winning and Abe Lieberman is waiting to meet a prostitute. This mild-mannered old police detective still has a few tricks up his sleeves - and one of them is named Estralda Valdez. One of the city's loveliest women of the night, she is Lieberman's most prized confidential informant, and she needs help with a psychotic john. Though they suspect she's only paranoid, Lieberman and his partner, Bill Hanrahan, agree to watch Valdez's back. But Hanrahan's weakness for drinking will sabotage their plans.
Hanrahan gets soused watching Valdez's front door, and by the time he realizes she is in danger, it's already too late. To save the partnership and find the hooker's killer, Lieberman and Hanrahan will have to make a journey into the darkest heart of the Windy City.
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"How can this man write so much, and so well?"
Absolutely. Mr. Kaminsky has drawn fully human characters in his Chicago books, men and women to whom we can easily relate, and about whom we care very quickly. Abe Lieberman and his partner, Bill Hanrahan, are Chicago homicide cops with rich lives at work and at home. We get to know their families, their foibles, their cases, and just a great deal about their lives. These are eminently likable people who have us rooting for them from the beginning of each book. The policework is difficult and emotionally trying, and it takes its toll on both of them over the years. Lieberman and his wife, Bess, are also long-time members of their Jewish congregation, which offers up many mini-stories to entertain us. Mr. Kaminsky's writing style is also very easy to like. He is funny and fluid. He knows the emotional makeups of his characters, and he lets us in on those with grace and ease. He never tries too hard. This series, the series that is set in Moscow and features Porfiry Rostnikov, and the series set in Sarasota, featuring Louis, the sad sack refugee from Chicago: all of these are very enjoyable books. I marvel at Mr. Kaminsky's productivity; how he can keep turning these out without seeming to be straining his imagination or his skills. A gem of an author, who proves time and again that mystery/detective novels are a very broad and satisfying genre in American literature, with some of the best writers in America plowing these fields. How they manage to come up with one diamond after another is one of the great wonders of our times. I am so glad that these authors have chosen this area in which to specialize. Thus I have an almost unlimited selection of great books to read. Thank you, gentlemen and ladies.
I have been interested in this genre for maybe twenty-five years, beginning with Robert Crais and going through Stuart Kaminsky, Tom Perry, Tim Hallinan, Dennis Lehane and many others. My interest in the area could hardly be higher. Perhaps this is to some degree because I am a psychologist who has worked in these areas for four decades, in addition to my work as a psychotherapist, so it's a natural fit for me.
Yes. One of his skills is that he never seems to be straining to educate us, but instead he tells personal stories about the lives of his characters, and the technical/educational aspects of the books emerge organically, rather than seeming to be didactic.
Nothing. I like Mr. Ferrone's voice, across many of the writers whose work he reads. Nothing about his work annoys or distracts me.
I think Mr. Kaminsky wrote about a book a year for something like fifty years, and most of them are high quality, readable, skillful books that hold our attention and our interest. How can one human being do this?
"The best book I've listened to in a long time"
This recording has it all, a good story and a really great narrator. I'm looking for other books by Kaminsky and especially other performances by Ferrone. Ferrone reading really brought Abe Lieberman to life.
I hope the rest of this series is as entertaining as the first one. Impressive writing and flow.
"Not One kvetsh! Totally Enjoyed It!"
Abe Lieberman and Bill Hanrahan are classic cop partners in every sense. This book hit the stands about a quarter of a century ago and it's as interesting - even moving - as if it was born yesterday. Abe Lieberman's everyone's dream dad, fantasy cop, noble guy. Hannah isn't, but he's trying... And trying...
The dead-hooker whodunnit plot's great chicken wire to hold together a wonderful narrative arc. I want to know more about these guys, their families and friends. AND... they are Chicago cops who work well with other cops - no nasty internal bickering, instead a team that tries to solve problems (not just crimes - problems). I'm off to find and download Lieberman's Choice, the next in this series... Can't give a better review than that, right?
I love all the Chicago references.
Abe's Jewish American wisdom is very accurate.
If you love baseball, and especially the Cubs, you well enjoy the historic references to actual games and players.
"The alte kackers haven't saved this one so far."
The book has some nice touches - a.i. the alte kackers - but it just falls short left, right and center. The author keeps getting into bits of background story that really don't go anywhere - they somehow don't help to develop his characters, and so I am often left with a sense of "who cares?!". The narrator... he's just short of being bad enough for me to stop trudging on altogether. So far. He has this annoying habit of drawing ooout and emphasizing the last vowel on some words for absolutely no reason. It sounds totally contrived. I mean, it's not an accent, it's not 'acting' in the sense that he is trying to emphasize a part of the story - why on earth does he do it??? Very distracting.
Book is a pile of cliches. Plot moves forward at snail's pace. Reader is OK for narration but can't do accents, a skill horribly needed for this book.
"sadly dated, verbose"
This book was probably a lot of fun in the 1980s . . . avante garde, even, risque, sexually liberated, boundary-pushing. These days, though, it's comically retro . . . but the comedy is overtaken by the tedium of gratuitous scenes and characters . . . which, again, were most likely fun at the time.
"Same old, same old"
Run of the mill story written 25 years ago. No connection to the Karp stories
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