Lieberman's Law: An Abe Lieberman Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Dec 15 2000
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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.
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
The crime section of the novel begins with the vandalism of Abe and Bess’s Temple (of which she is the current president) and the theft of an irreplaceable torah. It is not quite clear what is happening. There is a group of militant Jews, a group of militant Arabs, a group of skinheads and a group of armed African-Americans. It appears that one group may be attacking another in order to place blame on a third. The machinations and maneuverings of these groups constitutes the core of the plot, with Abe and Bill doing their best to utilize confidential informants and stay one step ahead of the bad guys (whoever they happen to be).
As always, there is a great deal of local Chicago color, visits to Abe’s brother’s Maish’s deli, some rabbinical wisdom and other elements of texture which enrich the stories in the Lieberman series.
This volume comes approximately in the middle of the series and it is an excellent exemplar of these books by the late MWA grand master, Stuart Kaminsky.
A fun read.