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Concourse: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

S. J. Rozan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 15 1996 Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels (Book 2)
It flows through the Bronx like a river between banks of faded elegance. And at the end of the avenue called the Grand Concourse is the place people go to die, the Bronx Home for the Aged. The only trouble is the people dying there are going before their time.

Bill Smith has been hired by an old friend to investigate the brutal killing of a young security guard on the Bronx Home grounds. Going undercover, Smith wades out into a sea of violence and lies washing up against the old brick building. When a second murder is committed, Smith knows that there's a method to the madness. With the help of bright, young Chinese-American investigator Lydia Chin, Smith uncovers a web of corruption that's found a home in the Bronx. Now he has to figure out who will die next.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Rozan nails down the promise of China Trade, her debut and the introduction of memorable New York City PIs Bill Smith and Lydia Chin. Here, Smith goes undercover for his mentor Bobby Moran, who now runs a security firm. One of Moran's young employees has been brutally murdered-kicked to death by an expert in martial arts-while on the job at the Bronx Home for the Aged in an elegant old building on the no longer elegant Grand Concourse. Although the murder carries trademarks of the work of the Cobras, a powerful gang, Smith, posing as a Moran employee, investigates the premises and staff of the Home. Quickly, another member of the security staff is similarly killed; later, a member of the Home's staff is fatally shot in someone else's tossed apartment. Smith runs afoul of the Cobras while defending another Home employee, but his probings suggest that even more powerful villains are at work in philanthropic and political circles of the Bronx. Rozan's dense, credible plot cuts through all circles of its urban hell and is resolved with drama and realistic ambiguity. Her major characters-the classical piano-playing Smith who's in love with the independent, Asian-American Chin-and the minor cast, from dimensionally portrayed gang members to delicately drawn Home residents, leave a lasting impression. Rozan brings a distinctive, commanding voice to the genre.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Rozan brings a distinctive, commanding voice to the genre."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 
"Richly and rewardingly plotted."
--Kirkus Reviews

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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At Mike Downey's wake the coffin was closed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great character-driven mystery Feb. 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
CONCOURSE, by S.J. Rozan is the second novel of the Lydia Chin - Bill Smith series started in CHINA TRADE. CONCOURSE is an even stronger entry.
Bill Smith, despite his ordinary name, is anything but ordinary, even though he would be the last person to admit it. Rozan gives us a few clues to his less than ideal past, and that alone makes the reader want to learn more. As far as his relationship with Lydia -- their tenuous romance is gentle, wistful and at the same time, built on a deeply felt trust.
The plot of CONCOURSE takes Bill and Lydia into the world of non-profit organizations that are anything but, and leads Bill into the savage world of Bronx street gangs that live by their own rules and are governed by codes of honor written in blood. In the end, the ultimate brutality is the evil wrought by money and power -- a struggle that nearly costs Bill his life.
CONCOURSE is not for the faint of heart; the language is strong, the violence harsh and realistic, but the characters and plot are involving and exciting. A highly recommended series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than China Trade, and C.T. was great! Feb. 22 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book has interesting characters and plot, and is extremely well-written. I read it first, then found China Trade, the first novel in the series, in the library. As a (real) man, I can say that Rozan's Bill Smith is realistic; I would not have guessed that the author was female if I hadn't already known it. Smith reminds me of J.P. Beaumont, Jance's Seattle detective, and I can't think of a better compliment. It was a pleasant surprise to find that China Trade was written from the viewpoint of Lydia Chin. I hope that the viewpoint continues to alternate between the main characters in the later novels. If the quality continues, Rozan will join J.A. Jance, Minette Walters, Dick Francis, Robert Crais, and Ed McBain on my A-list of mystery writers whose new books I will buy in hardcover. On to Mandarin Plaid!
P.S. Jonathan Kellerman is borderline for my A-list. Sue Grafton, Robert Parker, and James Lee Burke are former A-listers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Plot, Stock Characters Jan. 13 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was well-written, but a disappointment to me because I thought Rozan's first book, China Trade, was excellent. In China Trade, Lydia Chin was interesting and witty, and her Chinatown background made her different. Bill Smith is as ordinary as his name. All his little quirks, like classical piano and his love of Lydia, are just that, quirks. They don't add up to a believable character. I got tired of his descriptions of fall leaves and his lonely, depressed personality. The plot was good and side characters like Mrs. Goldstein very well done. The African American dialogue some characters speak gets tedious. Lydia was a complete blank in this volume. She might have been a totally different person from the Lydia in China Trade. Her romantic feelings about Bill are vague. I would not recommend this book even though it did win the Shamus award.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic and well-written P.I. novel Aug. 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought this was a well plotted and hard hitting PI novel. It is a fast paced, well-written page-turner with a dramatic and satisfying conclusion. Smith and Chin are interesting and likeable characters, but possibly a bit underdeveloped. (But I'll attribute this minor complaint to the fact that I did not read the first Rozan book.) The Smith/Chin relationship seems a little familiar, and the relationship with the burned out detective also seems overdone, but overall, Rozan creates a believable and original story that blends big-city corruption and inner city violence.
The minor complaints mentioned above notwithstanding, I give this a strong recommendation and I am looking forward to the next installment.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rozan is a favorite of mine, but the other books I had read by her were focused on Lydia Chin. This book shifts the focus to Bill Smith (who sometimes partners with Lydia Chin). I missed Lydia and I found this book a little too "Humphrey Bogart" for my taste. I would not describe this book as a real page-turner, at least for me. Still, Rozan is a very skilled writer, particularly good at plotting and creating believable characters, people you care what happens to. This book would particularly appeal to people who like tough, gritty detective mysteries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop thinking about the characters... Nov. 12 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I stayed up late to finish this book, and woke up the next morning still thinking about the characters- the gang leader "Snake" and the bitter cop, in particular. Rozan has successfully pulled off a rather difficult trick- changing the point of view in the middle of a series. Much to my surprise, I liked Bill Smith as a protaganist just as well- perhaps even a bit better than Lydia Chin. I've enjoyed them all so far, however. But Concourse soars above the average mystery in its superb character development. I'm looking forward to more from S.J. Rozan!
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