The Big Silence: An Abe Lieberman Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Nov 19 2001
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Veteran Chicago detective Abe Lieberman has things on his mind. His daughter's in from L.A., having left her husband. In addition, a small-time Korean gangster who lost his livelihood thanks to Abe has come to kill him--again.
"You come near here again, you're dead. I think it's better to be alive than dead, but you make up your own mind."Bill Hanrahan, a pro lineman would-have-been thanks to bad knees, is Abe's longtime partner (cops call them the Rabbi and the Priest) and he, too, has issues. A softball assignment guarding the ex-wife and son of mob-accountant-about-to-sing Mickey Gornitz has just gone south; the woman's been murdered and the boy snatched. It's not the first time a woman's been killed while in Hanrahan's care, although it is the first since he's been sober. The kidnapper's demand to Gornitz--an unwelcome confidant of Abe's--is simple: kill yourself and the boy lives. An untenable situation for all, the resolution of which plumbs the vagaries of philosophy and morality.
"I can go?" Kim asked warily.
"I wish you would. I've got an important phone call to make."
Kim rose, confused. "You won't even arrest me?"
Lieberman's foot was driving him crazy. He had to scratch it, and he did.
"So, more dishonor from the Jew devil," Kim said.
"You get your dialogue from very bad Hong Kong movies," Lieberman said. "You need a slightly higher grade of culture. You ever see Mildred Pierce?"
Kaminsky has as sure a hand (from character development and dialogue to plot and pacing) as you'll find in any police procedural, and he's got more successful series running than many authors have successful novels. To the wonderful Lieberman series, add his contemporary Russian detective, Porfiry Rostnikov (star of 2000's Fall of a Cosmonaut); his 1940s Hollywood PI, Toby Peters (1991's Poor Butterfly), and his newest, Sarasota process server-cum-people locator, Lew Fonesca (1999's Vengeance). Do yourself a favor and read them all. --Michael Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Versatile, prolific and reliable, Kaminsky seldom disappoints, whether spinning a tale about his Russian policeman (Porfiry Rostnikov), private eye to the stars (Toby Peters) or Chicago policeman Abe Lieberman. Here Lieberman and his Irish partner, Bill Hanrahan, known to colleagues as "the Rabbi and the Priest," have to handle an onslaught of personal and professional crises. Hanrahan, a former football lineman who missed out on a pro career because of bad knees, is nearly suicidal over a blown assignment that resulted in a kidnapping and murder. Lieberman, a slight, 60ish career policeman, juggles a pair of bothersome cases and a pair of family crises on top of shouldering some of Hanrahan's burden as a partner should. Drawing on Chicago's cultural diversity, Kaminsky enriches the story with a range of Jewish, Irish-Catholic, Korean, African-American, Hispanic and other ethnic characters. In his world-weary, wise and compassionate way, Lieberman uses every tool at his command, from common sense to favors traded as readily with a gang leader as with another cop. Crimes are not so much solved as resolved. And the partnerships Lieberman has forged with his compatriotsDbe they relatives, police officers, suspects or citizensDmake the resolutions and the process of achieving them a joy to follow. (Dec.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
However, almost immediately after the moment that the Boston cop handed over the former wife and son to Bill, thugs kidnap the duo. When the abduction includes murder, Bill blames himself and not the brass who thought the wife and kid were low priority. As Abe works on a couple of cases and some personal shtick, he tries to help his partner deal with a severe case of depression caused by deep feelings of guilt.
The Abe Lieberman police procedural series is constantly one of the best the sub-genre has to offer. The current tale, THE BIG SILENCE, is an intriguing look at Chicago, various ethnic groups, and relationships. The police investigation is engaging because no great revelation occurs, just hard work. Stuart M. Kaminsky other sleuths (see Rostnikov and Peters) are very good and deserve fan accolades, but clearly neither one holds a candle to the Lieberman books.
This time around, Lieberman and his associate, Hanrahan, are trying to guard the ex-wife and son of a mob informant while juggling the daily frustrations of their own lives. While the mystery will keep your attention, what is equally wonderful, to my mind, are Lieberman and Hanrahan, two guys who jump from the pages in vivid detail. Kaminsky is a wonderful writer and I hope more than mystery buffs discover him. He deserves the attention!