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Lieberman's Law: An Abe Lieberman Mystery [Paperback]

Stuart M. Kaminsky
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 15 2000 Abe Lieberman Mysteries
Abe Lieberman, the Chicago PD detective, has never has it easy when it comes to emotional cases, but this time the action is getting little too close to home. His temple has been vandalized along with four others, and it looks like the vandals have more sinister plans in mind. Finding the culprit opens a window on the broiling ethnic tensions on Chicago's North Side, and what's happening in Abe's family life does nothing to turn down the heat. If he and his partner, Hanrahan, can locate the vandals who have targeted the city's Jews, they may be able to put a stop to some of the madness before violence enters the picture.

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From Publishers Weekly

A thick layer of tension and a seething urban hostility mix with the droll verbal shenanigans that distinguish this series (Lieberman's Day, etc.). The old Jewish men in the deli find it hard to crack wise when a synagogue is defaced and the priceless Torah is stolen. Aging Chicago cop Abe Lieberman takes the vandalism as a personal affront: it's his shul, and his wife, Bess, is its president. Meanwhile, he's also dealing with a Korean gang and some black kids who want him to stop sitting in their park after dark. He's fighting the effects of runaway cholesterol; his grandkids are living in his house; his prodigal daughter is coming home with her new black husband; and Hanrahan, his partner, is fixing to wed a Chinese woman. Helped by the favor mill of the streets, Abe hits the trail of a perverse alliance of white skinheads and Arab militants acting out, respectively, blind idiot racism and a 20-year-old vendetta. Multi-ethnic Chicago could hardly ask for a better ventriloquist than Kaminsky. The city comes warmly alive when hardened gang members wax sentimental over the Cubs and in the erudite speech of Abe, which contrasts markedly with the sudden, savage force he can apply to a kneecap when necessary. This is more cop drama than mystery. But such categories don't matter. This is a taut suspenseful tale, animated by a sometimes dark but decidedly moral vision.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Like Ed McBain, Stuart Kaminsky is so prolific that it's possible to lose sight of just how good he is. Readers who pick up this one, the fifth in the Abe Lieberman series, won't make that mistake again. Sixtyish Chicago PD detective Abe really has his hands full in the roiling ethnic stir-fry of Chicago's North Side, and the trouble is hitting very close to home. His temple has been vandalized and its torah stolen; the vandals, possibly Arabs or skinheads, seem to be planning something even worse. A Korean gang has threatened Abe's wife and grandchildren. His daughter may be getting ready to marry a black Gentile--and his taste in food is at odds with his cholesterol level. Abe is a character who will endure in readers' imaginations. He's smart, tough, empathetic, and just a tad crazy when circumstances require. His North Side will ring true to anyone who knows the Rogers Park or Uptown sections of Chicago, and the many subplots create a narrative pace like a car chase. This is a wonderfully rich cop novel. Thomas Gaughan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaminsky is the best! May 19 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of Stuart M. Kaminsky. His lengthy Russian series starring Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov is unique, based on solid research into Soviet crime detection techniques, Moscow geography and an understanding of the Realpolitik pressures of working in a totalitarian environment. The Lew Fonesca series, which takes place in south Florida, is far breezier, with an interestingly flawed hero-detective. The Toby Peters series is based on the conceit that there was a detective in LA who consistently interacted with the great movie stars of the 1930s and 40s, solving crimes for them and occasionally suspecting them of murder.
Finally we come to Kaminsky's Lieberman series, which is placed in Chicago, and concerns Abe Lieberman, a Jewish police detective whose partner is a lapsed Irish Catholic. The personal stories in this series are just as important, if not more so, than the crimes that have been committed and require solving. We meet Maish, Lieberman's brother, who is constantly wrestling with the Almighty because his son was murdered. We meet Lieberman's daughter Lisa and delve into her troubled life, a byproduct of which is that Lieberman and his wife Bess are raising Lisa's two children themselves. Lieberman's partner, Bill Hanrahan, has his own back story of a failed marriage, drink, and redemption through an unexpected meeting with a woman who changes his life.
Thus the Lieberman series is very deep and rich, yet still an excellent read purely as a police procedural.
What unites all of Kaminsky's work is that each one of his characters is fully fleshed out, and his own profound concern for their humanity shouts out on every page. Lieberman is a good soul, streetwise, as well as a wise and caring grandfather, father, husband, partner and friend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A procedural with heart as well as action Aug. 23 2004
By Lynn Harnett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This third Abe Lieberman procedural involves a heavy dose of the personal. The mugging-murder victim on this frigid January Chicago morning is police sergeant Lieberman's nephew, David, son of his brother.

The novel opens with the muggers and the crime itself - the shots that killed David and wounded his very pregnant wife. It then moves to Lieberman, his insomnia, family worries, encroaching age, all shoved into the background with the telephone call from his partner, Hanrahan.

Hanrahan himself is quite a character - a former alcoholic sheltering the battered wife of a previous case, who contemplates remarriage to a Chinese woman while still awaiting his former wife's return.

Kaminsky seamlessly weaves all this and more into a coherent plot, with plenty of suspense, much of it generated by activities Lieberman and Hanrahan are unaware of - danger to David's wife, and the crazed fanatic who stalks the partners with a shotgun. And the ending is a shocker.

Kaminsky, Edgar-award-winning veteran writer, writes with warmth and melancholy humor; a layered book which works on all levels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lieberman's Law May 25 2010
By Peggy L. Mcintyre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I am a huge Lieberman fan, I felt this book did not measure up to many of the others I have read. It was hard for me to "get into it", seemed to drag for me. However, I will always buy Kaminsky's book about Lieberman, because for the most part they have been real winners.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting April 28 2014
By Martha Fewell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fun and rather cotton candy read - the Lieberman books are very approachable, set authentically in Chicago, and very easy to relate to. The characters are real and approachable. They develop over the series of books so you see them grow. Probably not necessary to read in order but much more fun. Abe is a tired, moral detective who sometimes seeks an expedient but still honorable solution to difficult problems. Growing up in Chicago, I enjoy the locations and descriptions of people. Despite this, the mystery is well structured and fully resolved.

A fun read.
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