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The Man From Yesterday: A Jack Lehman Mystery [Paperback]

Seymour Shubin SHUBIN

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Book Description

May 1 2008
Edgar Allen Poe Award winning mystery writer Shubin has written an “unusual and remarkably moving mystery” (Booklist). Detective Jack Lehman is a character worthy of a Clint Eastwood movie, especially when he squints and seems not to comprehend something unbelievable and the guns start blazing. Lehman is a retired detective called back to work when an anonymous phone caller tips him off to a half-million dollar heist. Only problem is, when Lehman informs his old cohorts at the prescient about the crime, he can’t remember any of the details. Is it early Alzheimer’s setting in? Lehman’s friends and family think so, and they try to reign him in. The tale unfolds like a psychological thriller, and Lehman ultimately gets his man and becomes vindicated at the end of this exciting and suspenseful book.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers; 2 edition (May 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897335759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897335751
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 13.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Crime solving is tough enough for those with all their faculties, but it's even harder for 73-year-old Jack Lehman, a retired police detective in an unnamed U.S. city, who may be in the early stages of Alzheimer's in Shubin's uneven 13th novel (after 2002's A Matter of Fear). A phone call from a former informant alerts Lehman to a major crime—a theft of more than half a million dollars. Only trouble is that Lehman can't remember the informant's name or who was robbed and didn't write any of it down. Plagued by fears and doubted by everyone (cops, family, neighbors) except a freelance writer, Lehman follows almost forgotten instincts that lead him to a gang he once busted as well as to murders, deceptions and betrayals that perversely reinvigorate his mind even as they endanger him. Lehman is the only character who emerges with any clarity, and given the difficulty of assessing his perspective, that's not enough to shed much light on the crime or its eventual solution. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

This unusual and remarkably moving mystery boasts an unlikely but compelling premise and a brilliantly drawn protagonist, Jack Lehman. A former cop, Lehman is still called "the lieutenant" by most who know him. Indeed, he very much thinks of himself as a cop, even after 15 years of retirement. The problem is, at 73, the lieutenant's memory is cutting out on him at key moments. For example, when an informant calls to tell him about a half--million-dollar heist, the lieutenant can remember neither the name of the informant nor the victim. Minus those key details, Lehman's story comes across pretty weakly to the police captain at his former precinct. With his wife and son clearly in the doubters' camp, the lieutenant, determined to prove that the robbery did occur, turns to his one ally: an admiring young journalist named Colin Ryan. Readers will ache for Lehman, a dignified man suffering the indignities of aging, while being swept up in a suspenseful plot. A sad but ultimately redemptive look at life through the eyes of an older adult. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't help but root for this tough, determined underdog Jan. 25 2006
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on
When retired Detective Lieutenant Jack Lehman receives a phone call from a former snitch telling him of a one-half million-dollar heist that's occurred, his first instinct is to inform his ex-colleagues at the Westend Detective District station house of the crime. A strange thing happens, though, shortly after he begins telling his story to the current captain: he forgets the names of the snitch and of the victim of the heist. His credibility shot, he leaves the station in shame.

Embarrassed by this performance, and anxious because his memory seems to be deserting him, Lehman decides to investigate and see what he can turn up himself. Although he possesses sound instincts, his memory constantly betrays him, leading the police and his family to conclude he's going senile. The only person who doesn't think Lehman is losing his edge is the perpetrator, who decides the ex-cop must be taken out of the picture.

The author of thirteen novels, Shubin knows how to keep a reader's attention, delivering a crackerjack mystery story featuring a man in a life and death struggle against both old age and decay and the criminal element he's determined to bring to justice. Lehman's despair is almost palpable: the audience, which knows Jack is not crazy, can only watch helplessly as those he loves and respects challenge his every assertion and act. Truly courageous, Lehman is a character who will win the hearts and the minds of readers, who can't help but root for this tough, determined underdog.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Crime Novel Dec 24 2005
By Dave Zeltserman - Published on
Seymour Shubin has crafted a pitch-perfect crime novel. Part Cornell Woolrich, part Ed McBain, The Man From Yesterday features retired detective Jack Lehman, a man who finds himself in the middle of a burglary/murder investigation, and must battle not only his failing memory, but his own self-doubts and the doubts of both those closest to him. Ultimately this becomes more than simply a crime investigation to a struggle for Lehman's dignity and self. The author expertly ratchets up the tension throughout the book creating an extremely satisfying read that's tough to put down once started. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting To Know Jack Lehman May 30 2006
By Kevin Tipple - Published on
The mind can be a tricky thing. The name of someone you just met might escape your remembrance while at the same time the name of some classmate in elementary school from decades ago can't be forgotten. How many of us have forgotten our home phone number from time to time? For retired Detective Lieutenant Jack Lehman it seems to be happening more and more.

As the novel opens, he knows one thing for sure. A former snitch of his, the name he can't remember, reached out and by phone told him that a big heist of over a million dollars had happened. The phone call had come after a long night when he was tormented by the fact that he simply could not remember the name of who his favorite late night talk show host was as he watched him on TV. He was still more asleep than awake when his snitch called and now, as he sits in front of Captain Hewitt, who runs his old 32nd District, he is humiliated and embarrassed.

As Captain Hewitt points out, while Jack can't remember the name, a heist that big means the police should have heard something. Jack knows that is true but he also knows the call happened. Driven by a need to prove himself as well as to dispel the notion that he is nothing more than a senile old man, Jack begins to work the case. A case that leads back to the past and scores unsettled. Beset by his own memory problems and the assumptions of others, including his family that he is suffering from senility or early stage Alzheimer's, Jack continues to push the case with little outside help others than from writer Colin Ryan who believes the former Lieutenant is on to something that could turn into a book for him.

While the novel does shift in point of view occasionally, the story is told primarily from the viewpoint of Jack Lehman. In so doing, the reader is treated to the viewpoint of a man who knows his memory is weakening and yet at the same time is sure that there is a case. A case that while shadowy and vague has some substance to it if he can just start pulling the pieces together. He also knows how others, including his family, feel about him and know that because of those assumptions, they aren't going to take him seriously. That pain of self awareness as he rages against the dying of the light flows throughout the entire novel.

Featuring a complex central character dealing with the efforts of aging on so many levels, this novel becomes an engrossing story that works across the board. It becomes easy to cheer each success Jack has and suffer the agony of each setback. This book, much like "Witness To Myself" also from this author, pulls the reader into a world of personal pain and obsession where the character is on a hunt for vindication.

Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2006
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man From Yesterday Feb. 27 2006
By Jean Premeau - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was pulled in from the first page and it kept getting stronger. It flows good and has a great story line plus strong Characters. I think this Novel is destined to become a Best Seller.

Jean Premeau

Author of Station In Life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Me? Jan. 8 2011
By Rosebud Book Reviews - Published on
Why I didn't want to like this book? I came to it in a strange way. I, John Lehman, write short stories and novels under the name "Jack Lehman," and when I put that into amazon's search to check on my Kindle books, it came up as a character in this mystery by Seymour Shubin. I bought it. But, far from glamorous, Jack Lehman is a retired police lieutenant in details. No one believes him and the subject now becomes his fight to prove he hasn't "lost it."

Is this the kind of escapism an older reader also with difficulty remembering names needs in his life? The answer is a surprising, yes. Like the classics of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, it is the internal mysteries mirrored by the external ones that tug at your heart. Man from Yesterday builds nicely and then climaxes like a forgotten name that suddenly comes to you. It will leave you cheering. For Jack. For yourself. For being old, but still in the game.

-- John Lehman, Rosebud Book

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