Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyLike its villain, this first in a projected series has big ideas but lacks the discipline or the knowledge to achieve them. New York homicide detective Lenny Bliss has the murders of two Russian-born hookers to solve. He's a hangdog kind of a guy, like Stuart Kaminsky's Lieberman, only a little younger and a little less cynical. The dead hookers are both victims of blundering, delusional Johnny Tolstoy, an occasional pimp and aspiring stand-up comic who runs afoul of the Russian mobsters who control the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn. The first dead girl is a dentist with two children, who was working nights to raise the cash to return home. Tolstoy kills the women, pretty much senselessly, and then tries to incorporate his sinister tendencies into his stand-up routine. Bliss's wife, Rachel, is also bitten by the funny bug, and Sloan subjects readers to bits of her act, an abysmal routine lamenting the pitfalls of being a cop's mate. Forsaking all suspense, Sloan hands us Tolstoy in the second chapter. Worse, while Bliss is good for a few quiet chuckles, his wife is relentlessly, mindnumbingly unfunny. Sloan offers a handful of decent lines, an agreeably subtle notion of pathos and no apparent ability to sustain wit beyond the first few punchlines or plot beyond the third chapter. (Aug.)
Library JournalSloan has initiated a new police procedural series. Manhattan homicide detective Lenny Bliss and his handsome partner Ward investigate the murder of a beautiful Russian dentist and mother who temporarily turned call-girl in order to raise start-up cash for her office back home. Meanwhile, the murderer runs afoul of the Russian mafia in Brighton Beach. Graphic language, good characterization, and realistic dialog, great sense of place. Recommended.
George NeedhamLenny Bliss is a New York City homicide detective, the loving but unintentionally remote father of two young daughters and the indifferent husband of a stand-up comedian whose shtick revolves around life as the wife of a cop. In this auspicious debut, Bliss searches for the murderer of a prostitute, a Russian emigredentist turning tricks in the U.S. in order to get enough money to establish a practice back in Moscow. Drawn by the dead woman's beauty and the emotional reactions of her friends to her death, Bliss becomes obsessed with the case, risking everything to find the killer. Instead, he finds himself and rediscovers his family. Sloan has created both an appealingly offbeat protagonist and several solid supporting characters, including Lenny's partner, Ward, and his daughters, Julia and Cori. One can only hope that future entries will feature more of Lenny's wife, Rachel Davis, the rising comedian. A fine start to a promising series.
PART I: FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACYChapter 1: People, Politics, and ParticipationChapter 2: The ConstitutionChapter 3: Federalism
PART II: FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLESChapter 4: Civil LibertiesChapter 5: Civil Rights
PART III: PEOPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT Chapter 6: Political Socialization and Public Opinion Chapter 7: Interest Groups Chapter 8: Political Parties Chapter 9: Elections, Campaigns, and VotingChapter 10: The Media
PART IV: INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENTChapter 11: CongressChapter 12: The PresidencyChapter 13: The BureaucracyChapter 14: The Judiciary
PART V: PUBLIC POLICYChapter 15: Economic PolicyChapter 16: Domestic PolicyChapter 17: Foreign Policy and National SecurityAppendixesA: The Declaration of IndependenceB: Federalist No. 10 C: Federalist No. 51D: The Declaration of Sentiments
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