LAST CHANCE FOR GLORY by Stephen Solomita


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Solomita (A Good Day to Die, not reviewed) depicts a New York City where the bad guys are tough, but the good guys are tougher...and make better wisecracks. A woman is found murdered in the back scat of a Mercedes Benz in Gramercy Park. A confession is easily extracted from Billy Sowell, a docile, retarded vagrant. The case is closed, and Billy is incarcerated. Two years later, private investigator Marty Blake sips a Moussy at a bar in northern Queens, hoping to get some answers from Bela Kosinski, a cop who had worked on the murder case and is now spending a besotted retirement swilling vodka. Marty has been hired by a criminal lawyer renowned for his shifting wig and ability to get off the most unrepentant rapists and murderers to gather evidence for his newest challenge: to win the appeal of a wrongly imprisoned man. Marty's ease on the information superhighway and Bela's knack for grilling witnesses make them a good team that quickly discovers Billy was framed. Before they can secure his release, Billy is silenced forever by Tommy Brannigan, Bela's former partner. Unwilling to give up the first real mission of their lives, Marry and Bela set out to find the killer's identity, unraveling a conspiracy by the Manhattan borough president, a Supreme Court justice, and the top-secret Intelligence Division of the New York City Police Department, whose spies follow them and bug their homes before resorting to more mortal measures. As the danger increases, their torpid lives are raised to loftier heights, but there is precious little time to prove themselves heroes. The evolution of Marty and Bela's partnership and the meaning it gives to their lives are as touching as any story of romantic love, and when a sober Bela blushes over his new-found ambition, it'll break your heart. Witty, sincere, boorishly sentimental.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
Page count: 314pp
Publisher: Penzler/Macmillan