"Make room for a new hero in popular crime fiction," wrote Larry King in USA Today upon the publication of reporter Robert Rosenberg's first novel. "The hero is one Avram Cohen. The book is Crimes of the City. This is a thriller in the grand fashion. You will not put it down for an instant." Readers agreed. Now Avram Cohen returns in a suspenseful new yarn that takes Jerusalem's most legendary detective (legendary for his instincts, his chutzpah, his temper, and his taste for cognac) from his beat in the Holy City to that unholiest of cities,
"Make room for a new hero in popular crime fiction," wrote Larry King in USA Today upon the publication of reporter Robert Rosenberg's first novel. "The hero is one Avram Cohen. The book is Crimes of the City. This is a thriller in the grand fashion. You will not put it down for an instant." Readers agreed. Now Avram Cohen returns in a suspenseful new yarn that takes Jerusalem's most legendary detective (legendary for his instincts, his chutzpah, his temper, and his taste for cognac) from his beat in the Holy City to that unholiest of cities, Hollywood, where complicated crimes are concealed by perfect scenery and stars and sharks whose business is illusion. No city of angels, L.A. Or so Cohen discovers when a suicide he calls murder plunges him into the cold heart of Beverly Hills and the movie business. The victim? A director, a friend. A man Cohen had trusted since childhood when the two helped each other survive the nightmare of the Holocaust in a Nazi concentration camp. Suicide? Was he sick of the glitter? Or murder? What were Max Broder's secrets? The casting couch and the women he used? Cocaine? Or the past - and the memories even Hollywood's most expensive comforts couldn't soften. The answers, Cohen discovers, lie in Broder's last film, an epic testament to their friendship in the camps. What made it too risky for the studio? And why did Broder turn to the kingpin of L.A.'s Jewish mafia for ammunition to feed his battle with the guys who controlled his movie's future? Everyone, Cohen discovers, seems to know more than they're telling. But no one has the whole picture. Not Goldie Stein, Hollywood"s toughest tattletale ("She seemed to create scandals for her own pleasure..."), who tries to wrap him around her perfectly manicured fingers. Not Laszlo Katz, the billionaire magnate who turned Holocaust memories into "Shoah business." Not Sophie - haunted, untrusting, beautiful ("He stood at the center of the long pool, waiting for her to reach him. As she a
The promise of Rosenberg's new Avram Cohen mystery is lost in an overheated, garish development that in turn leads to a lugubrious conclusion. After political enemies force him into galling retirement and months of inactivity, Cohen, former commander of the Jerusalem Police, accepts a longstanding invitation to visit fellow Dachau survivor Max Broder. ``Der Bruder'' is a successful Hollywood director who is finishing a film about the Holocaust, which includes re-creations of his and Cohen's postwar exploits as avengers. Cohen, who has deliberately tried to put the past behind him, arrives in L.A. shortly after Max's death, ostensibly a suicide. Nosing around, the Israeli detective collects various enemies: the studio head who won't release the movie; movieland's Jewish community, whose members don't want to focus attention on themselves; some Aryan Nation punks, and a mysterious white-haired sniper. Aided by Broder's rough cuts, the screenplay and his own war memories, Cohen sifts through a large cast of mask-wearing, secret-bearing Hollywood types to zero in on a notorious Nazi bad guy hiding behind the weirdest mask of all. Although stolid, crotchety Cohen provides a fine and powerful presence as he makes his way in a strange land, the final plot twist is over the top. (Feb.)
Former Jerusalem detective and Dachau survivor Avram Cohen arrives in Hollywood to visit a long-time friend and successful movie director. Max Bruder, though, has apparently committed suicide, leaving behind an unseen autobiographical film, a mysterious young female companion, and at least one enemy. Cohen, looking for clues to a killer, begins with a hidden safe, a surprising will, and the final cut of the controversial film. Well-written, evocative prose underscores a foreigner's wry look at Hollywood.
Fired from his job as Jerusalem's chief of investigations after his Gordian resolution of Crimes of the City (1991), Avram Cohen accepts his old friend filmmaker Max Broder's oft-urged invitation to Hollywood—only to find Max dead, an apparent suicide, and The Survivor's Secrets, his film about his escape from Dachau with Cohen and Bernard Levine, pulled from release by the withdrawal of Epica Productions. Bucking the authority of the Beverly Hills cops, Cohen quizzes Levine's daughter Sophie, Epica studio chief Andy Blakely (whom Max had tried to stab in a well-publicized melee), and gangster Davey Bee, among a host of other sharply etched figures; but the crucial clue is in an errant videotape of The Survivor's Secrets, which will lead Cohen—though not until after more deaths and much soul-searching—to another ghostly survivor of Dachau. Deftly plotted, finely detailed, and written with tears and compassion. All of Rosenberg's characters, even his walk-ons, leave an indelible impression.