Sorrow's Anthem (Lincoln Perry Series #2)

( 13 )

Overview

Michael Koryta's Tonight I Said Goodbye won national acclaim and St. Martin's Press/PWA Prize for Best First PI Novel. Now, this gifted young author returns with "a worthy successor…impressive" (Publishers Weekly).

THE AMBULANCE, THE FIRE ENGINE, THE POLICE CARS—

Once Lincoln Perry and Ed Gradduk were friends. Then Perry became a cop, Gradduk turned dangerous, and their friendship imploded. Now, Gradduk is ...

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Overview

Michael Koryta's Tonight I Said Goodbye won national acclaim and St. Martin's Press/PWA Prize for Best First PI Novel. Now, this gifted young author returns with "a worthy successor…impressive" (Publishers Weekly).

THE AMBULANCE, THE FIRE ENGINE, THE POLICE CARS—

Once Lincoln Perry and Ed Gradduk were friends. Then Perry became a cop, Gradduk turned dangerous, and their friendship imploded. Now, Gradduk is dead. And Perry wants to use his PI license to prove that whatever else his childhood friend might have been, he wasn't a murderer.

ALL TOGETHER, THEY SOUND LIKE A SAD, CRAZY SONG….

For the police, this case is over. The woman Gradduk is alleged to have killed can't tell her side of the story, and the building she entered with him has burned to the ground. But Perry is making connections to a wave of arson that struck Cleveland seventeen years ago—fires that lit up the dark secrets of two families, a local powerbroker, and at least one crooked cop. Now Perry and his partner can see ties between the past and present, between innocents and criminals—and sirens that keep playing...

SORROW'S ANTHEM

"Say hello to a new crime talent."

ChicagoTribune

"Inspired by Hammett and Chandler, the 22-year-old Koryta displays the maturity of a writer with several novels under his belt, and his plot percolates with crisp dialogue that might impress Chandler himself."—Booklist (Starred Review)

Visit www.michaelkoryta.com

www.minotaurbooks.com

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“One of America’s top young mystery writers.”

Toronto Sun

 

“Say hello to a new crime talent.”

—Chicago Tribune

 

“Inspired by Hammett and Chandler, the 22-year-old Koryta displays the maturity of a writer with several novels under his belt, and his plot percolates with crisp dialogue that might impress Chandler himself.”—Booklist (Starred Review)

 

“Koryta’s impressive second hardboiled mystery is a worthy successor to his debut, Tonight I Said Goodbye, an Edgar and Shamus finalist....The 22-year-old author, who works for a PI and for an Indiana newspaper, displays credible insider knowledge of those professions as well as a gift for creating both sympathetic characters and a fast-moving, twisty plot.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] work of rare profundity. The multi-layered and labyrinthine plot is worthy of Raymond Chandler or (more aptly, perhaps) Ross MacDonald. And that’s more than mere hyperbole; Koryta is that good. Sorrow’s Anthem is so good it’ll bring tears to your eyes. And it’s good on just about every level; as a crime novel, as a hardboiled mystery, and as a mainstream exploration of choices, consequences, and of individual responsibility. In the end, and as far “anthems” go, this one never misses a beat.” —Mystery News

“Sometimes a book grabs you and stays in your memory long after the rest of the in-box’s contents have been flushed away by new arrivals. Koryta’s second mystery about Cleveland private eye Lincoln Perry has this kind of hold on me...Dashiell Hammett of Red Harvest would appreciate the tangle of high-level political and police corruption of Sorrow’s Anthem, but anyone who mourns for lost friendships will add a more visceral reaction.”

Chicago Tribune

“Perry is an appealing fellow, and Koryta is a straightforward storyteller, but the real pleasure here is touring the back streets of C-Town....Nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel at the age of 21, Koryta is now 22, but Sorrow’s Anthem is no sophomore slump.” —The Washington Post

“Koryta...receives high marks for a well-constructed plot and his particular talent at depicting action-packed scenes.” —The Halifax Chronicle-Herald

“Nicely told, with the requisite genre beatings and gunplay reserved for the end and the equally requisite angst, this time over past misdeeds, front, and center.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The extraordinarily vivid sense of place is made all the more palpable by the heat and humidity that can only erupt into thunder and lightening storms in a kind of arson in the sky. Lincoln Perry and his partner Joe Pritchard are perfectly orchestrated characters—the young, idealistic and sometimes brash investigator balanced against the older, seasoned pro has never been done better. The characters they encounter during their investigation are unique, fully realized and absolutely alive. Ed’s mother stood out for me in particular. I don’t know how a 22-year-old man could write a middle-aged woman with such precision and empathy. This is an exceptional novel, to my mind every bit as good as Mystic River. Buy it. Read it. Give it to your friends. This book just might change the way you think about the private-eye novel forever.”

ReviewingTheEvidence.com

 

“[A] great follow-up to Koryta’s first novel, proving that he has a lot to offer his readers in terms of engaging plot lines, intriguing characters, and edge-of-your-seat endings.” —The Indianapolis Star

 

“[D]eeply felt and moving…could have flowed from the pens of more seasoned writers like Robert Parker…. Definitely make room on your bookshelf for Lincoln Perry’s future adventures.” —Independent Mystery Booksellers Association

Publishers Weekly
Koryta's impressive second hard-boiled mystery is a worthy successor to his debut, Tonight I Said Goodbye (2004), an Edgar and Shamus finalist. Cleveland PI Lincoln Perry, haunted by the circumstances that led to his estrangement from his best friend, Ed Gradduk, clutches at an opportunity for redemption on learning that Gradduk is a fugitive from the law, suspected of arson and murder. Perry's hopes of repairing their relationship are dashed after his childhood confidant dies in an accident. As a result, Perry shifts his mission to clearing the dead man's name. Perry, aided by his partner, follows a winding trail of dirty cops and multiple suspicious fires toward the truth. The 22-year-old author, who works for a PI and for an Indiana newspaper, displays credible insider knowledge of those professions as well as a gift for creating both sympathetic characters and a fast-moving, twisty plot. Author tour. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
P.I. Lincoln Perry is back-and this time it's personal. Perry hears that Ed Gradduk, his estranged childhood friend, is accused of murdering a lawyer and then burning the house down around her and has subsequently become the object of a manhunt through their old neighborhood. Perry feels compelled to help his old friend, who proclaims his innocence. But the chase ends with Gradduk dead under the wheels of a cop car, eliminating any hope of reconciliation and opening up a lot of questions for Perry, who witnesses the accident. Perry isn't sure that Gradduk is guilty and sets out to find the truth, but first he has to deal with some old baggage and call in a lot of favors. While it is interesting to read about childhood friends who have grown in different directions and yet find their lives still intertwined is interesting, the pacing is uneven, the characters fall flat, and the plot just strains credibility. A disappointing second effort from Koryta, the gifted young writer of Tonight I Say Goodbye. Recommended for larger fiction collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 10/1/05.]-Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
You can't go home again. Or can you? Cleveland's Clark Avenue-where private eye Lincoln Perry, ex-con Ed Gradduk and Scott Draper, owner of his family's bar, The Hideaway, grew up as best pals-is under fire. The torch, caught on surveillance tape, is Ed, who presumably killed Anita Sentalar, head of the National Alliance rebuilding project, before he burned down a house under construction. Lincoln, refusing to believe it, tracks down Ed after eight years. They barely speak before the suspect is run over, maybe accidentally, by Padgett and Rabold, the cops chasing him. Against the better judgment of his shamus partner Joe Pritchard (Tonight I Said Goodbye, 2004), Lincoln delves into Ed's immediate past, which has also attracted the interest of local cop Cal Richards and the Feds. Central to their investigations are area gangster Jimmy Cancerno and missing day-laborer Mitch Corbett, who worked with Ed on Cancerno's buildings. Before he's found with the help of Lincoln's reporter pal Amy and Pritchard's cop contacts, there'll be more Clark Street conflagrations, more death and two new versions of a 20-year-old story of terror and intimidation. It'll take Lincoln's heroics to save both Draper and Pritchard before the neighborhood quiets down and Lincoln can come to terms with his own past. Nicely told, with the requisite genre beatings and gunplay reserved for the end and the equally requisite angst, this time over past misdeeds, front and center.
Publishers Weekly
Cleveland PI Lincoln Perry must confront his past when he learns that his best friend from childhood, Ed Gradduck, is accused of arson and murder and is on the run. Years ago, when Perry was on the police force, he sent Gradduck to prison, destroying their friendship and earning the detective the disdain of his old neighborhood. With the hope of resurrecting something of their former amity, Perry sets out to help his friend, but he's barely started when Gradduck is killed—hit by a car right in front of Perry. Now, with a deep sense of obligation, Perry sets out to prove the dead man's innocence and clear his friend's name, no matter the cost. The multiple award–winning Brick proves an excellent choice to read this noir. Fully embracing Perry's first-person narration, he brings the right world weariness to Koryta's seen-it-all PI.; the intimacy of his reading makes the expository passages sound like Perry is speaking directly to listeners, pulling them into the story, while the dialogue has a smooth, natural flow. It is an accomplished performance that only enhances this well-written updating of the classic detective story. A St. Martin's paperback. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312936600
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/2007
  • Series: Lincoln Perry Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 336,357
  • Product dimensions: 4.03 (w) x 6.66 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Koryta

MICHAEL KORYTA's first novel, Tonight I Said Goodbye, was published when he was just twenty-one. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where he began working as a newspaper reporter and for a private investigator while still in high school. He later kept both jobs while he attended Indiana University. Tonight I Said Goodbye won the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America Contest for first novel and the Great Lakes Book Award for best mystery, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best first novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I heard the sirens, but paid them no mind. They were near, and they were loud, but this was the west side of Cleveland, and while there were many worse places in the world, it was also not the type of neighborhood where a police siren made you do a double take.

"You ready, West Tech?" Amy Ambrose asked, taking a shot from the free throw line that caught nothing but the old chain net as it fell. Out here the nets were chain, not cord, and while they could lacerate your hand on a rebound attempt, they sounded awfully satisfying when a shot fell through, a jingle of success like a winning pull on a slot machine.

"Of course I'm ready," I answered, trying to match her shot but clanging it off the rim instead. This didn't bode well. Amy had been challenging me to a game of horse all week, and I was distressed to find she could actually shoot. I'd played basketball for West Tech in the last years of the school, before the old building was shut down, but it had been several months since I'd even taken a shot. Amy had become a basketball fan in recent years, more inspired than ever since LeBron James had arrived in Cleveland, and I had a bad feeling that I was about to become the latest victim of her new hobby.

"I hope you've got a better touch than that when you actually need it," Amy said of my errant effort.

"I was always more of a point guard in high school," I said. "You know, a distributor."

"So you couldn't shoot," Amy said, hitting another shot, this one from the baseline. She pointed at her feet. "You've got to make it from here."

I missed. Amy grinned.

"You've got an 'H' already, stud. Looks like this will be a short one." She was about to release her next shot when her cell phone rang with a shrill, hideous rendition of Beethoven's Fifth. She missed the shot wide, then turned to me with a frown. "Doesn't count. The cell phone distracted me."

"It counts," I answered. "You ask me, you should be penalized a letter just for having that ring on your phone."

She let the phone go unanswered. I took a shot from the three-point line and made it. Amy missed, and we were tied at "H." Her phone rang again, turning the heads of a few of the kids who were hanging out at the opposite end of the court. We were playing at an elementary school not far from my apartment.

"I'm not losing to you, Lincoln," Amy said as I hit another shot. She continued to ignore the phone, which was on the ground behind the basket, and eventually it silenced. After a long moment of focusing, she took the shot and made it, forcing me to try again.

We traded makes for a few minutes, and then Amy pulled ahead by a letter. We were both beginning to sweat now as we moved around the court, the mugginess of the August day not fading as fast as the sun. Amy looked like a teenager in her shorts and T-shirt, with her curly hair pulled back into a ponytail. A couple of boys who were maybe sixteen went past on skateboards and gave her a long, approving stare.

"Your shot," Amy said after she finally missed one. "Make it interesting, would you?"

I dribbled left and came back to the right, pivoted, and fired a pretty fadeaway jump shot that caught the side of the backboard and sailed out of bounds, a Michael Jordan move with Lincoln Perry results.

"That was embarrassing even to watch," Amy said.

"I won seven games with that move in high school, smart-ass."

"Really?"

"No."

Her phone began to ring again. I groaned.

"Just answer the damn thing or turn it off, Ace."

"Okay." She tossed the ball back to me and walked over to pick up the phone. While she talked, I stepped outside the three-point line and put up a few more long shots, missing more than I hit.

Amy hung up and walked back onto the court. She stood with her hands on her hips, her eyes distant.

"What's up?" I said, dribbling the ball idly with one hand.

"It was my editor. Big story breaking. He wanted to know if I had a good source with the fire department."

"Oh?"

"Involves your old neighborhood," she said. "Any chance you want to ride down there with me and do some reporting? Maybe you could hook me up with a good source or two."

I smiled. "You're way too suburban to be hanging out in my old neighborhood, Ace."

"Shut up." Amy likes to think of herself as tough and street-savvy, and she hates it when I hassle her about her childhood in Parma, a middle-class suburb south of the city. I was west side all the way.

"What's the story?" I took another jump shot and hit it.

"Murder."

"That does sound like the old neighborhood." I retrieved the ball and dribbled back to the top of the key, my back to Amy.

"Some guy set fire to a house down on Train Avenue with a woman inside. Dumbass was caught on tape, though. A liquor-store surveillance camera from across the street, I guess. When the cops went to arrest him this evening, he fought them and got away."

"Remember the sirens we heard earlier?" I said.

"That could've been the reason for them. Guy who set the fire lives up on Clark Avenue. I thought you grew up off Clark."

"That's right." I took another shot. "What's the guy's name?"

"Ed Gradduk."

The ball hit hard off the back of the rim and came bouncing straight at me. I let it sail past without even extending a hand. It rolled to the far end of the court, but I kept my eyes on Amy.

"Ed Gradduk," I said.

"That's how my editor pronounced it. You know him?"

The sun was all the way behind the school now, the court bathed in shadows. The ball lay still about fifty feet behind us. I walked across the court, picked it up, and brought it back to Amy. She was watching me with raised eyebrows.

"You okay?"

"I'm okay," I said. "Here's your ball. Listen, I'm sorry, but I need to leave. Consider it a forfeit if you want. We'll have a rematch some other time."

She took the ball and frowned at me. "Lincoln, what's the problem? Do you know this guy?"

I wiped sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand and looked off, away from the orange sunset and toward the shadows east of us. Toward Clark Avenue.

"I knew him. And I'm sorry, but I've got to go, Ace."

"Go where?"

"I need to take a walk, Amy."

She wanted to protest, to ask more questions, but she didn't. Instead she stood alone on the basketball court while I walked away. I went around the school building and out to the street, got inside my truck, and started the engine. The air conditioner hit me with a blast of warm air and I switched it off and lowered the windows instead. It was stuffy and hot in the truck, but the trickle of sweat sliding down my spine was as cold as lake water.

It's early summer. I'm twelve years old, as is Edward Nathaniel Gradduk, my best friend. We are spending this night as we've spent every night so far this summer: playing catch in Ed's front yard. The yard is narrow, as they all are on Clark Avenue, so we begin our game in the driveway. As the night grows late, though, the house and the trees block out the remains of the sun, and we move into the front yard to prolong things. Here, with the glow of the streetlight, we can play all night if we want to. The ball is difficult to see until it is right on you, but we've decided this is a good practice element, calling for faster reflexes. By the time we get to high school, we'll have the best reflexes around, and from there it will be a short trip to the major leagues. High school, to us, seems about as real a possibility as the major leagues this summer; a dreamworld with driver's licenses and cars and girls with breasts.

"Pete Rose is a worthless piece of shit," Ed says, whipping the ball at me with a sidearm motion. "I don't care how many hits he has."

"Damn straight," I reply, returning the throw. Ed and I are Cleveland Indians fans, horrible team or not, and if you're a Cleveland Indians fan you hate Pete Rose. You hate him because he is a star player in Cincinnati, a few hours to the south, but more than that, you hate him because he ran into Ray Fosse at full speed in an All-Star game more than a decade ago and Ray was never the same after the collision. Thirty years after the team's last pennant, a player like Ray Fosse means a lot to Indians fans. He is another bust now, another hope extinguished, but for this one we get the satisfaction of blaming Pete Rose.

"My dad said he'd like to see Pete Rose come up to Cleveland and go into one of the bars," Ed says. "Said he'd get his ass kicked so fast it wouldn't even be funny. 'Cept it would be funny, you know? Funnier than shit."

Ed has a way of talking just like his old man, which explains the persistent profanity. My own dad would clock me if he ever heard me swearing like we do, but when I'm with Ed, it's safe. Cool, even. A couple of tough guys.

"Damn straight," I say again, a tough-guy phrase if ever there was one. "I wish I could be there to see it."

"Pete'll never come to town," Ed says. "Doesn't have the balls."

Ed lives on Clark Avenue, and I live with my father in a small house on Frontier Avenue, just south of Clark. Our wanderings carry us as far east as Fulton Road, and a favorite spot is St. Mary's Cemetery on West Thirty-eighth. Sometimes Ed and I run through the cemetery at night, telling each other ghost stories that start out seeming corny but end up making us sprint for home. Ed's mother is always at home; my mother has been dead since I was three. I have a framed picture of her on the table beside my bed. The first time Ed saw it, he frowned and asked why I had a picture of my mother in my room. I told him she was dead, flushing with a mix of shame and anger—ashamed that I was embarrassed to have the picture out, and angry that Ed was challenging it. He looked at it judiciously, touched the edge of the frame gently with his finger, and said, "She was real pretty." From then on, Ed Gradduk has been my best friend.

My dad's at home now, probably asleep in his armchair with the Indians game on the television or the radio, whichever is broadcasting tonight. We don't have cable, so we still listen to a lot of the games on the radio. I'm allowed to be at Ed's house because his mother is home. Ed's father is probably down at the Hideaway, playing cards and drinking beer. He might come home soon, toss the ball around with us for a while and tell jokes, or he might not come home at all. Ed will pretend he doesn't care if his dad hasn't shown up by the time we go to bed, but he'll also alternate glances between the clock and the street until he falls asleep.

"Pretty Boy Pete Rose," Ed sings, jogging back until he is on the sidewalk and rifling the ball at me so hard I take a step back and hold my glove up with both hands, feeling silly, but thankful I am able to see the damn thing before it can drill me in the nose.

"Tougher than usual tonight," Ed says, seeing my near disaster with his throw. He points skyward. "One of the streetlights is burned out."

"You wanna go in?" I say.

He scowls. "Nah, I don't want to go in this early."

I toss the ball in and out of my mitt and wait for him to make a decision. He scuffs his sneaker on the ground and eyes the garage thoughtfully.

" 'Member when my dad was painting the house?" he asks. When I nod, he says, "Well, he couldn't do it till he got home from work, and by then it was already almost dark. So he bought a spotlight to help him."

"You still have it?"

"Yeah. He never really used it, said the paint always looked different during the day and that pissed him off. But I think he kept the light."

"We bring that out here, maybe we can even see well enough to hit wiffle balls," I say, liking this suggestion. "It'd be like playing at the stadium in a night game."

"Come on." Ed drops his mitt to the ground and starts for the tiny, one-car garage that sits behind the house. I follow.

There used to be a floodlight attached to the garage, but it, too, is broken. The overhead door is down, and we have to go in through the side door. Ed's a step in front of me, but even so I can smell the gas as soon as he pulls the door open. Most old garages carry the smell of fuel with them, but this is different, just a bit too strong. There's music playing, too—Van Morrison singing "Into the Mystic."

Ed is fumbling against the wall for the light switch, oblivious to the smell. He can't find the switch, reaching with a twelve-year-old's short arms, so he steps farther into the garage. I move with him, and now I'm inside the dank little building. The fuel smell is still potent. I'm wearing my mitt, but I slip it off my hand and let it drop to the concrete floor. The baseball is clenched tight in my right hand, my arm pulled back a bit. I've never been scared of the dark, but for some reason I want out of this garage.

"I can't find the damn switch," Ed mutters beside me, and then there's a click and the little room fills with bright white light. For a second it's too bright, and I close my eyes against the shock. They're closed when I hear Ed begin to scream.

My eyes snap open and I take a stumbling step backward, trying to get out of the garage, thinking that there is an attacker in here, some sort of threat to make Ed scream like that. My back hits the wall, though, and in the extra second I'm kept in the garage my eyes finally take in the scene.

Ed's father's Chevy Nova is inside the garage. The driver's window is down and upon the doorframe rests Norm Gradduk's head. His face is pointed toward the ceiling, his skin puffy and unnatural. It takes one look to tell even me, a child, that he is dead.

Ed runs toward the car, shrieking in a pitch higher than I would've thought he could possibly reach. He extends his arms to his father, then pulls them back immediately. He wants to help him; he's scared to touch him.

"We gotta call somebody," I say, my own voice trembling. I step closer to the car despite a deep desire to get as far from the scene as possible, and now I can see inside. There's a bottle of liquor in Norm Gradduk's lap. One of his hands is still wrapped around it. On the stereo, Van Morrison sings of a foghorn blowing, "I want to hear it, I don't have to fear it . . ."

Ed turns and runs past me, out the door and into the yard. He's still screaming, and after one more look at Norm Gradduk, I begin to shout, too. Inside the house, Ed's mother yells for everyone to keep it down out there.

It takes the paramedics seven minutes to arrive, and about seventy seconds for them to tell Ed and his mother that there is nothing they can do.

Copyright © 2006 by Michael Koryta. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another masterpiece from Michael Koryta!

    After finishing Michael Koryta's first novel, Tonight I Said Goodbye (Lincoln Perry Series #1), it took all of five minutes before I was in the car, on the way to get the next book. After a sleepless, page-turning night, I was once again impressed with the "unputdownableness" (official Barnes & Noble lingo!) of Koryta's writing.

    Sorrow's Anthem is the second of (so far, I hope!) four novels starring former cop PI Lincoln Perry, only this time, the case is personal. In fact, no one even hired Lincoln. Plagued by guilt over his involvement in his childhood best friend, Ed Gradduk's, arrest, Lincoln is shocked to hear that the now ex-con is the prime suspect in a murder/arson case. Still wanting to try to do right by Ed, Lincoln seeks him out. After only a brief insight into what had happened, a police car arrives on the scene and Ed is killed in the chase, right before Lincoln's eyes. Against the advice of his partner, Joe, and against the wishes of Ed's mother and the rest of the neighborhood, Lincoln dives headfirst into the case and, inevitably, his own past. Intent on clearing Ed's name, Lincoln's fervor brings trouble down on Joe and himself as the discovery of another murder confuses the case even more.

    Sorrow's Anthem is fast-faced, riveting, and explosive without being plot-heavy, as it left me feeling even closer to the characters than the first book. I will DEFINITELY keep reading and you should, too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    very good book!

    He has always done a great job with his books. They keep ur attention till the end. Any books by him is money spent well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    great series

    I like this series. The first book was better but this one still a good read. I plan to read all the series. The stories flow easily and holds your interest... Good stories too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    TURTLESTAR TO SUNEAGLE

    Go to cold first result.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Poor writer, poor book

    I read the last half of this book turning the page -- turning them fast -- while I scanned for something that resembled content.

    There was precious little. Even a deux ex machina ending!

    This is a juvenile book written at the level of a teenager.

    Re-read some John D. MacDonald and clear your palate -- don't waste money on this author.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    Excellent hard-boiled detective tale

    In Cleveland private investigator Lincoln Perry plays HORSE with Amy Ambrose when her editor informs her that an arsonist was taped burning down a house with a woman inside. The suspect Ed Gradduk eluded the cops, but upon hearing that name Lincoln is stunned as they were best friends as children. Several years later Lincoln adhering to his oath as a cop had arrested his pal. --- Still feeling guilty of betrayal though he knows he did the right thing, Lincoln wants to help Ed. He visits Ed¿s hostile mother and then his pal Scott Draper when Ed comes down the stairs of the bar insisting he never killed the woman regardless of tapes. Cops see Ed who flees they drive after him but when he stumbles they accidentally hit and kill him. Lincoln believes Ed and decides to prove his friend¿s innocence to clear his name. With the help of his partner Joe Pritchard, Lincoln begins his quest not realizing that his path leads to a serial arsonist protected by those who could make trouble for Lincoln. --- The second Perry hard-boiled detective tale (see TONIGHT I SAID GOODBYE ) is a terrific who-done-it because of the hero¿s belief that though he did the right thing as a cop years ago, he failed his pal by not being there afterward thus clearing Ed¿s name is an obsession heated by a need for redemption. The twists and turns of the arson-murder investigation is clever and plausible while quite entertaining. The key cast members, not just Lincoln, seem genuine especially characters like Ed¿s mom who holds Lincoln culpable for her son¿s downfall. Michael Koryta provides a deep mystery with a strong support cast and a powerful lead detective working the mean streets of Cleveland. --- Harriet Klausner

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