I was very pleased when author and reviewer Carl Brookins asked if his book reviews could be linked to from my blog.
As most of you know, I don’t do reviews myself (because reviewing is its own stellar talent and I simply don’t have it), but I love the idea of Suspense Your Disbelief readers getting to see some of the great ones I come across.
So without further ado, please check out this post by Carl, on KIND OF BLUE, a not-your-usual police procedural by Miles Corwin. If you’re interested in the real world of cops who are neither heroes nor foes, but sometimes a little of both, I hope you’ll keep reading.
By Miles Corwin
From Oceanview Publishing
323 pages, November, 2010
A few years ago, this author wrote a couple of serious non-fiction books about the Los Angeles Police Department. He spent a lot of time with cops in that city and wrote books that became best-sellers, “The Killing Season” and “And Still We Rise.”
Now he’s back with a powerful persistent novel that draws from the same source material. “Kind of Blue,” is not your ordinary police procedural. It constantly reminds readers that the cops involved are no super beings, rising above the worst humanity can offer to save their city; nor are they all thugs, wife beaters and abusers. They are ordinary citizens, sometimes corrupt, sometimes honorable and brilliant, often prejudiced, but too often willing to make the supreme sacrifice for the citizens they serve. And, occasionally they violate the rights of criminals.
Author Corwin bends a keen and discerning eye on this stew of varying humanity to fashion a fascinating novel of human relations. Asher Levine, a dedicated, mostly honest cop, is one of LA’s best homicide detectives. But as the book opens, Levine is a former cop, having abruptly resigned after he was unable to protect a vital witness from being murdered. The death of Latisha Patton, never solved, devastates the detective and causes him to question his abilities, even though it is clear that apart from his dedication, he is a brilliant detective. So he resigns.
A year passes and a decorated officer has died, murdered in his home and the special homicide squad needs Levine’s help solving the case. More to the point, certain key executives in the LAPD hierarchy need the case solved or at least put to rest. Levine has had that year to discover his resignation hurts him more than it does the LAPD. With clearance from the top cops, Levine is fast tracked back to the force and handed the case.
The problem, of course, is that Levine won’t just concentrate on the current case and thus all sorts of actions that need to be buried along with the ghost of Latisha Patton. Traces of other earlier activity begin to resurface as Ash Levine winds his way through labyrinthine police and social structures of the street until he comes to the shocking final solution.
The title is apt, a riff on a 50 year old Miles Davis studio piece, the cover fits the mood and the attitude of the novel. All the elements fit and it was a pleasure to read this excellent book.
Posted by carl brookins at 2:15 PM