When I had things to believe in,” he thinks, they usually broke my heart.”
Matt Jacob has seen his share of life's darker side as a social worker -- and more than his share of its underside as a private eye in the less-than-blueblood districts of Boston. He watches too much late-night TV, smokes too many cigarettes, and thinks too much for his own good. Sometimes high, often down, but never out, Matt Jacob is a survivor.
Maybe that's what draws him to his latest assignment -- penetrating the fiercely private world of an embattled Hasidic Jewish sect. In the midst of a holy celebration, a powerful and beloved rabbi is gunned down by the ringleader of a white supremacist hate group -- who in turn is shot dead by another rabbi. To help attorney and friend Simon Roth defend the volatile Rabbi Yonah Saperstein, Matt agrees to ferret out the first-hand facts in the double slaying.
Amid the Hasidim, Matt finds a people with a rage to survive. Among the White Avengers, he finds only rage. Though the battle lines are clearly drawn, Matt's moral compass detects a blurring of the lines between good and evil, right and wrong, justice and vigilantism,
About the Author
As a VISTA volunteer, Zachary Klein co-founded The Peoples' School in Uptown Chicago. He moved to Boston in 1971 where he worked at Project Place, a worker-run social service collective. When Klein left, he was hired by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to train their employees in advanced counseling. He followed that by providing counseling to individuals and couples for nearly 15 years.
Subsequent to his work as a counselor, Klein wrote the critically acclaimed Matt Jacob Mystery novels before moving on to become a trial and jury consultant for a number of national law firms. He also served as a consultant for a local court-appointed attorney for the indigent.
He’s currently writing new Matt Jacob novels. His website and blog can be found at:
Klein still lives in Boston with his partner Susan E. Goodman, a children’s book author. He has two great sons and a wonderful daughter-in-law.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This guy tells a story that hangs on like a coltrane solo. His characters have real life. Flaws battle with courage character and compassion. Values balance with inertia and fear. Like all of us they try and fail and sometimes keep trying anyhow. I can't wait for #4!
No Saving Grace is the third installment in Zachary Klein’s gritty Matt Jacob series. Similar to the first two novels (Still Among the Living and Two Way Toll), Grace offers a riveting plot and an engaging cast of characters. When Matt’s lawyer-friend Simon admits he’s been going to Temple, Matt’s surprised. “What are you doing involved with a Temple?” “I just got tired of having nothing to believe in,” Simon says. “Aren’t you?” Matt doesn’t respond. “When I had things to believe in,” he thinks, “they usually broke my heart.” Matt’s faith — or lack thereof — is tested on many levels in No Saving Grace. He’s helping Simon defend a rabbi who killed the leader of a white supremacist hate group. Infiltrating the ranks of a Hasidic Jewish sect isn’t easy. And investigating the hate group known as the “White Avengers” is dangerous. But dealing with his feelings about his dead daughter is a different type of challenge — one that Matt’s not sure he’s ready to face. Ready or not, memories of his daughter’s tragic death rise to the surface via his relationships with Yakov, the accused rabbi’s teenaged son, and Cheryl, a young reporter for whom Matt has conflicting paternal/sexual feelings. Klein deftly explores his detective’s emotional issues while building a suspenseful story. It’s one of the hallmarks and the pleasures of reading this series. Another hallmark is the excellent writing: The dialogue that rings true. The humor. The “realness” of the main character. Matt isn’t a former cop or a trained detective. He relies more on instinct than experience. And though he isn’t always confident of his ability to solve the case, he’s determined to see it through. His stubbornness often leads to beat downs and death threats. But usually, he’s his own worst enemy: “Cigarettes, dope, booze……you’re a walking death wish. I don’t know why you’re scared of anyone else,” Cheryl tells him. Matt’s got a long way to go before anyone mistakes him for an optimist. But No Saving Grace offers a hopeful ending; one that finds Matt reaching out instead of retreating to his basement apartment. That’s a giant step forward for somebody so shrouded in grief and anger. This is a terrific series, one that stands out from the pack of detective novels because of the author’s unique voice. I know there are more Matt Jacob novels in the works, and it will be interesting to see whether Matt keeps moving forward — or, more likely, how many steps backwards he’ll first need to take.