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About the Author
Steve earned a B. A. Degree from the University of Texas, majoring in political science and minoring in history. Afterwards he passed his stock broker's exam and worked for a time at a brokerage house before returning to school. Upon getting his legal assistant certification from UCLA, he worked at a major law firm in Los Angeles. Successful stock market investments allowed him to retire early and to pursue two dreams, writing and foreign travel, and he has since traveled extensively and frequently to Europe. He enjoys the cosmopolitan bustle of Berlin, Rome, Vienna, London, and Budapest. Many of these capitals find their way into his stores of intrigue. When not traveling, he spends his time in San Diego, California, working up ideas for thrillers (two more novels are nearly finished and a fifth is in the early stages of research) and planning even more trips abroad..
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite Murder Without Pity by Steve Haberman takes us to the Paris of today, a city struggling to come to terms, like many European cities, with its multi-ethnic and multi-cultural melting pot. There is a strong populist movement of the Far Right gaining notoriety and ascendancy in Paris. State criminal investigator Stanislas Cassel is well noted around the Palace of Justice for his dogged determination and inability to be swayed by rhetoric. Facts and evidence are the grist of his life. Haunted by the stain of his grandfather’s propaganda on behalf of the Nazis during World War II, Cassel knows well that memories in France are long and bitter, especially where collaborators with the Nazis are concerned. Little does he realise when he begins his latest “little misery,” investigating the strange death of a nondescript pensioner, what doors and problems will be opened along the way. I found the setting of Haberman’s Murder Without Pity to be dark and gritty, perhaps reflecting the same feelings of the people of France as they come to terms with the rise of political violence and the emergence of a powerful Far Right movement. Paris, it seemed, was eternally shrouded in a damp, clinging and chilling fog and this fitted in perfectly with the tone of the story. This book was almost totally about the main character, Stanislas Cassel, and I found the author did an excellent job of painting this character, with his limp and his permanent tiredness, but also his determination to seek the truth in this particular case. I was surprised that the anti-collaborator sentiment was still so strong amongst the people, despite the war being so many years ago, but not being French, I guess that could well be the case. Murder Without Pity was a good, solid mystery, and one well worth solving.
Reviewed by Stephanie D. for Readers Favorite Stanislas Cassel in the French justice department has been persuaded by thugs with German accent to give a certain witness, Louis Boucher, an easy time when he is interviewed about a murder case. That makes him investigate further although it first scares him. So he redoubles his attempts to find out why seemingly harmless pensioner Léon Pincus was murdered. He begins to unearth connections that go back to the occupation. This becomes difficult for Stansislas, himself the grandchild of a collabo, and he realizes he is opening himself to danger and criticism. Up to now he has tried to keep a low profile, and busy himself with dealing with minor crimes. But he has to meet this challenge for the sake of justice and redemption. As a friend quotes, “But if I am for myself only, then what am I?” There is a greater good. Based on actual events, the action takes place against a contemporary background of violence and riots in Paris due to an Austrian right winger being acquitted by jury. The far right is rising again and causing a lot of unrest. There is tension and a dark, brooding atmosphere throughout the novel. The characters develop as we read. Cassel seems dry and remote to start with, but his personality and moral goodness emerge gradually. Other people are gradually revealed in their true colours, with some surprises for the reader. There is a respectable, almost old fashioned feeling to the writing initially, to match Cassel himself, but like him, its incredible power soon becomes apparent. This is an unusual and gripping novel, superbly written and a thought-provoking pleasure to read.
The investigation into the murder of Leon Pincus has been given over to Stanislas Cassel to investigate and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant arresting someone as the murderer. Monsieur Cassel is lured into a trap and told not to question one particular witness too deeply and to put his efforts into other cases. While very human and able to fear his captors, once they leave him and he returns to his office, Stanislas determines to carry the case through to a logical conclusion and catch the killer. By telling him not to ask too many qustions of Monsieur Boucher, an old man who had been a collaborator with the Nazis during their occupation of Paris, the effect is exactly the opposite of what the threat meant to have. Stanislas begins to investigate in earnest and uncovers many old secrets and bring him fact to face with his own family history. The question of whether Monsieur Pincus was killed because of an old secret or did it have something to do with new unrest being fueled by an influx of foreigners is one that Stanislas must answer and his search brings him into contact with a wide range of well drawn characters whose lives you will believe will resume once the case is solved. The dark mood created by talented Steve Haberman fits perfectly the mood of a nation seeking a sense of security and stability while manipulative power grabbers use the threat of immigrants to urge people to follow them. A history lesson that could be taken from newspaper headlines, a story that could have a foundation in reality. A read that will hold your attention as it unrolls a puzzle to keep you guessing. Recommended and guaranteed to keep you reading. Enjoy.