Dialogues of a Crime

Dialogues of a Crime

by John K. Manos


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Ranked #20, Amazon Best Sellers, 14 October 2014
Silver Medal Winner, Realistic Fiction, 2016 Readers' Favorite Book Awards

1972. The Chicago Mob stands unchallenged, and college students with drugs provide fodder for political point-making. Michael Pollitz, a nineteen-year-old with connections to the Outfit, becomes one of those political pawns.

1994. Job-weary CPD Detective Larry Klinger becomes obsessed with a cold case from that pivotal moment twenty-two years ago. In the course of his investigation, he encounters questions of ethics, guilt, and justice that make him doubt certainties that have sustained him for decades.

Dialogues of a Crime examines guilt, innocence and the long-term ramifications of crime and punishment in a gray area where the personal lives of perpetrators, victims and law officers overlap.

San Francisco Book Review: "In cold-case murder mystery Dialogues of a Crime, John Manos causes the reader to check their own assumptions not only about drug crimes, the prison system, mobsters, long-term effects of violent crimes on the victims, and justice, but also about what actually happens in the novel. Time and again Manos sets up the story in such a way that the reader is left wondering what really happened. Instead of being aggravating, I found this tactic admirable because it's so well done. Manos has a very fluid writing style with a balance of exposition and introspection, along with compelling narration that really pulls the reader along. It was a little short on description, but so well written that it's hardly noticeable. The dialogue was believable, which is surprising for a crime novel that includes the mob. All the components of his story just really, really worked.

"Endings are really important, and Manos nailed this one. Despite the finality of the conclusion, the book leaves so much to mystery. I don't recommend this novel for people who like shiny, big bows that tie everything up, but I do recommend it for anyone who wants a challenge and something to think about."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937484132
Publisher: Amika Press
Publication date: 07/26/2013
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

John K. Manos lives in Evanston, Illinois. He makes his living as a writer, editor, and musician.



In Manos' crime drama, Michael Pollitz must decide whether to protect the mobster who has protected him.

When Mike, a college student in 1972 Illinois, is arrested on drug charges, his father insists he use a public defender. His childhood friend's father, Dom Calabria, head of the Outfit in Chicago, wants to help Mike by providing a first-rate lawyer, but Mike goes with his father's wishes. The outcome is a plea bargain for a short stay in Astoria Adult Correctional Facility-but after he's brutally beaten and raped by three inmates, Mike spends most of his sentence in the infirmary. He doesn't give up his assailants' names but threatens their lives right before he's set to be released. When Mike is picked up by the head of the mob, people notice.

Flash forward to 1994, when Detective Larry Klinger begins investigating the murders of two former Astoria inmates who were violently killed shortly after being released. An informant-the third man who beat Mike-tells Klinger that the murders were committed by Calabria, the kingpin whom Klinger would like to see taken down. Klinger investigates, coming in contact with Mike, and the two form a friendship. When Klinger realizes that Mike will never give up Calabria, he begins to wonder whether it's even worth investigating the murders of such evil men.

Manos is extremely deft at allowing the characters to reveal the story and what motivates them. Klinger captures this particularly well; he ponders his role in the reality of crime and punishment, and Manos allows him to grow in the process: "Interviewing scumbags has to be the most tedious damn thing in the world, Klinger thought, as Bobby Andrews jumped back and forth over the same explanations, tripping over one lie after another." The characters are rich in their speech, experiences and motivations, which the measured, purposeful writing only enhances.

A character-driven crime novel ruled by complex men facing the past.

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Dialogues of a Crime: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jeffrey Brooke-Stewart for Readers' Favorite With graphic language and scenes of violence, John Manos introduces his readers to some very unsavory characters in the novel Dialogues of a Crime. Subsequently, the author skillfully develops some extremely complicated temperaments and patterns of behavior in these characters. Young and naïve Michael Pollitz is probably the most complex of these. Beginning with Pollitz’s arrest in 1972 on drug charges, and continuing through a violent attack in prison and his subsequent release, John Manos amplifies the difficulties the man faces and how he is simply unable to fully recover. The fact that he is on very close terms with the leading family in the Chicago-based mob only adds to the complexities of Pollitz’s life. Moving forward to 1994, the reader is introduced to Chicago cop Larry Klinger. Klinger stumbles upon a link between the mob and Pollitz that promises to open up the opportunity of solving an old murder case. With the help of the state attorney Dan Whittaker, Larry begins to peel back layers of guilt, confusion and ambition as he tries to understand Pollitz and the other central characters. One surprising twist after another leads Klinger deeper into the complex relationships of the personalities. And he is even forced to take a fresh look at his own life. In Dialogues of a Crime, John Manos causes the reader to weigh the sometimes conflicting balance of guilt and the need to move on in life with loyalty and honesty, and of truth and convenience. It is not always pleasant, but it is always challenging. Manos introduces enough side characters and situations to keep the reader guessing as the story develops. The build-up towards the end of the novel opens old wounds for the central characters and the reader will most likely not anticipate the conclusion. It is all written in a skilled manner and the reader who likes novels of this genre will love this one!