Red Hot Blues

Reggie Nadelson, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-18166-6
When former KGB General Gennadi Ustinov is murdered on a live New York TV talk show, NYPD Detective Artie Cohen is called in. Cohen grew up in Moscow, where Ustinov had been his father's closest friend. His investigation leads him on a twisting path peopled with the Russian Mafia of Brooklyn's Brighton Beach, the other guests on the TV show and Chaim Brodsky, owner of a media empire that includes the TV station where the murder occurred. Ustinov's killer is soon identified as a young Russian named Lev, who worked as an ""atomic mule,"" selling stolen radiation samples to anyone able to pay. In a rage at the immorality of these transactions, Cohen kills Lev. Cohen then flies to Moscow, which he comes to view as a hell where people will sell their souls for money to live on, though this dim vision lightens up when he falls in love with the beautiful Svetlana. Cohen's probing leads to death for the people close to him before he finally solves the puzzle. If Nadelson's debut is hampered by too many characters and plot complications, it makes up in energy what it lacks in elegance. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1998
Release date: 02/01/1998
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