No Colder Place
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S. J. Rozan is a New York architect who knows how to design a fine mystery novel: by doing her homework, using the best quality materials, and keeping the surprises coming until the very end. In her fourth book about unlikely detective partners Lydia Chin and Bill Smith, Rozan plants Smith high up in the clouds, laying brick on a troubled building site while Chin gets a job as a secretary in the construction bosses' trailer. Both see plenty of action, as what at first appears to be a simple case of a few crooked construction workers becomes a much more complicated story of twisted family relationships. Previous Chin/Smith outings available in paperback include Mandarin Plaid, China Trade, and Concourse. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
It's a lucky thing for p.i. Bill Smith that he's got construction experience; it's a perfect cover for him to get close to masonry foreman Joe Romeo--who's suspected of bookmaking, mob connections, and a lot worse--at the same time that he's keeping an eye on the suspicious series of accidents at the new 40-story apartment building that's rising at Broadway and 99th. In no time at all Bill's succeeded in persuading his partner, Mike DiMaio, that he isn't much of a mason, and he's placed his first off-track bet with Romeo. But don't count on his collecting very soon, since Romeo promptly joins missing crane operator Lenny Pelligrini and mortar mixer Reg Phillips as the latest casualty of the Armstrong building. At the same time that Bill's turning up evidence linking the cycle of violence to Louie Falco (mobbed-up childhood friend of Chuck DeMattis, the colleague who hired Bill to go undercover), Bill's partner Lydia Chin, also undercover at the Armstrong site, overhears hints that implicate general contractors Dan Crowell Sr. and Dan Crowell Jr., and take-no-prisoners Denise Armstrong herself points the finger at employment-coalition agitator Chester Hamilton. Is there any builder or subcontractor or unaffiliated lowlife in New York who doesn't have a finger in the Armstrong pie? Despite the epidemic of corruption, Rozan's focus on the tragic Armstrong building makes this the sharpest, clearest, most purposefully focused of her four Smith/Chin mysteries (Mandarin Plaid, 1996, etc.). (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Bill Smith (yes, this is his real name), is a Private Investigator, hired to help a friend with a problem at a construction site with employee theft. Bill and his Chinese-American Partner Lydia (no readers we cannot forget that Lydia is Chinese, this is mentioned at least a half a dozen times), go on the job to investigate.
Employee theft, is just the tip of the iceberg, and as Bill and Lydia investigate, they uncover a sinister web of corruption and betrayal.
I really enjoyed the writing style of Ms. Rozan. Her female characters are especially well done. Bill on the other hand, seemed a bit.... Stereotypical. He has no love life, drinks, and smokes (his smoking is described again and again to the point of tedium), (PLEASE get this guy the patch), and just seems like every other tough-guy detective I've ever read... With one exception. Even though he's tough, he seems a tad.... Feminized. This isn't a bad thing, it just seems strange. Also, I couldn't understand why Bill was so reticent to admit his feelings for Lydia. It just seemed odd.
Overall, a great story. Well worth the read. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for more Rozan books.
Chuck DiMathis asks fellow New York City private detective Bill Smith to take on a case that he was hired to solve, but has no time to work on. Crowell Construction is losing a vast load of supplies and equipment at an alarming rate for pilferage. Even a front loader has been stolen. A twenty-two years old construction worker has also vanished without a trace. Bill accepts the job and goes undercover, working as a brick mason at the company's current construction site. His sometimes partner Lydia Chin works in the front office as a secretary trying to learn what she can from an management/administration level.
The investigation turns ugly when the murdered corpse of the missing worker is found inside an elevator shaft. Soon after that the lead suspect takes a swan dive off the building during a contrived, well designed "rio
t". Lydia and Bill realize that someone has set them up as pawns in a chess game. Knowing that they are being maneuvered by a grandmaster does not stop the duo from trying to insure that justice occurs even though their
actions take them to places that put Bill and Lydia in grave danger.
NO COLDER PLACE is a hard boiled crime novel in the tradition of
McBain and McDermid. The term Black Noir was coined with a story like
this in mind. The tone of the novel is gritty and bleak as it reflects
the dark s ide of human nature. The only hope for Bill's redemption lies with
Lydia, a fact that the intrepid private investigator realizes but is
unable to act upon because he cannot shake his social lethargy. This
novel would make a great movie in the tradition of Marlow (THE BIG SLEEP or FAREWELL, MY LOVELY).
In this book, his undercover role as a bricklayer is so real that you can almost feel the ache in his spine and the soreness of his hands. It remains, to date, my favorite of Rozan's books. It has my highest recommendation. This is an author at top form, doing what she does best--giving us the wonderful Bill, deep in his element.
Most recent customer reviews
I had never heard of Rozan before and had chosen this one based on the customer reviews...I was certainly not disappointed! Read morePublished on June 16 2000
I read a lot of detective and action/adventure novels, and I bought this one based on Amazon's recommendation. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2000 by Martin
I picked up this book because I heard Dennis Lehane raving about Rozan's writing in an interview. He was right! Atmospheric, almost poetic images -- of a construction site! Read morePublished on Nov. 4 1999
I didn't bother with this book, although it won the Anthony for Best Novel, because I'm not a construction worker or a New Yorker. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 1999
A Bill Smith (as opposed to Lydia Chin) book. I just loved the insider's view of the construction world. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 1999
I bought this book based on some favourable on-line reviews but I didn't get past the first chapter. Read morePublished on July 22 1999
What a waste of time. The author has no conception of writing thrillers. I guess she never heard of Michael Connolly or James Lee Burke who write fine prose, intricate plots and... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 1999