THE BLUE WALL by Kenneth Abel


Email this review


 Another bleak but absorbing roman noir from Abel (Bait, 1994), a wintry tale set in and around the New York Police Department. Detective Dave Moser is investigating the homicide of a lovely young woman whose nude and mutilated body has been fished from the Harlem River in Upper Manhattan. The dead girl is soon identified as the daughter of Adelberto Cruz, an austere, affluent Guatemalan who found political asylum in the US during the 1980s. Meanwhile, the US Attorney is prepping a low-level mafioso named Joey Tangliero for a grand jury appearance at which he's promised to rat out his underworld bosses before disappearing into the witness- protection program. A lifelong wiseguy, Joey (who wants to be a standup comic in the worst way) has already incriminated the scores of cops he paid off in his capacity as a bagman. Although the informer's admissions get the NYPD's Internal Affairs Division on the case, no one has the full story. And almost nothing is what it seems to be. While Moser (an honest officer who resists the IAD's best efforts to recruit him to betray corrupt comrades) makes the most of his few leads, he doesn't immediately realize that Joey has been running the mob's money to Cruz for laundering. Nor does the world-weary sleuth have a clue that Cruz has encountered unexpected setbacks in Central America, which threaten his status with both the US government and organized crime. Shoofly entrapment schemes flush out suspects on both sides of the law, however, and Moser is finally able to make connections that bring the big, ugly picture into focus. At the twisty close, IAD operatives nab their most wanted stool pigeon, and the true-blue plainclothesman metes out rough justice to those who have it coming. A bravura performance from the immensely talented Abel.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-31193-1
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996


FictionDOWN IN THE FLOOD by Kenneth Abel
by Kenneth Abel
FictionTHE BURYING FIELD by Kenneth Abel
by Kenneth Abel
FictionCOLD STEEL RAIN by Kenneth Abel
by Kenneth Abel