BEAT by Stephen Jay Schwartz


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A harrowing catalog of all the bad things that happen to the two of you and everyone else when you fall in love with a prostitute.

When he’s not working cases for LAPD Robbery-Homicide, Detective Hayden Glass (Boulevard, 2009) is trawling the Web for sex. It’s a time-consuming obsession, not because it’s hard to find, but because he’s never satisfied. One day he happens onto an interactive site featuring a young woman named Cora who invites him, “Come talk to me,” and soon enough he’s tracked her to a seedy hotel in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. “I’m here for you, Cora,” he tells her, but it’s much less certain that she’s happy he’s in town than that Glass’s SFPD colleagues aren’t. It would be bad enough if Cora were merely an illegal kidnapped as a child and pressed into the sex industry by brothers Ivan and Michael Popovitch, owners of the Diamond and the Candy Cane clubs, respectively. Even worse, the brothers have had a falling out that makes Cora both a pawn and a liability. Worst of all, however, is that she’s unwillingly learned too much about a high-ranking police officer’s personal peccadilloes. So Glass—striking up an uneasy alliance with Officer Lisa Holbrook and Inspector Tony Locatelli of the SFPD and a pair of FBI agents who as usual have their own agenda—struggles to rescue Cora from not only the gangsters who’ve been pimping her but his law-enforcement counterparts who want to kill her.

The action is brutal; the tour of the Bay Area’s sex trade is sordid and sad; and Glass’s quixotic determination to rescue a woman who doesn’t even like him from a fate worse than death never rings quite true. Even so, the soiled hero’s relentless interrogation of his motives for pursuing Cora will make it hard for like-minded readers to put down his odyssey unfinished.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2820-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010