THE DETECTIVE by James Patrick Hunt


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Hunt, whose avenging heroes are usually drawn from the criminal classes (Police and Thieves, 2011, etc.), branches out to explore a formula that would be routine for anyone but him: the big-city police procedural.

Chicago, 1979. As the testosterone-soaked Homicide division waits breathlessly to see whether the mismanagement of a big snowstorm could give Richard Daley’s hometown its first female mayor in Jane Byrne, someone guns down five victims at a train stop. Four of them are nobodies, but the fifth gets everybody’s attention. Rabbi Nathan Wald was the leader of the Jewish Defense Alliance, a highly visible victim with lots of enemies who’s bound to attract media attention even if he wasn’t the primary target everyone assumes he was. Under pressure to show Chicago-style sensitivity to the case, Chief of Detectives Jim Stumbaugh and Lt. Hollis Gregory assign Detective David Beckman, a newcomer to Homicide from Vice, to assist veteran Detective Sgt. Tom Regan. Regan knows he’s been saddled with this rookie only because Beckman’s Jewish, and soon enough, Beckman knows it too. Now Beckman, already suffering the contempt of his estranged wife and his mother for going into police work instead of becoming a lawyer, has to help Regan figure out not only which of Wald’s many enemies pulled the trigger, but how to keep Gregory from shutting down the case once the leading suspect is conveniently killed shortly after his arrest.

Distinctly less original and exciting than the best of Hunt’s actioners. But fans intrigued to see him bring his gruff, clipped style to bear on a hero who’s actually got an interior life worth exploring will root for Beckman’s return.

Pub Date: March 19th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2808-0
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Five Star/Gale Cengage
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2014


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