Bloody London

Reggie Nadelson, Author
Reggie Nadelson, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-24372-2
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-09-949779-0
Hardcover - 308 pages - 978-0-571-19213-7
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-571-20138-9
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4090-0750-0
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Red Mercury Blues and Hot Poppies, Nadelson's first two books about Russian-born New York cop Artie Cohen were colorful but basically conventional mysteries. In her third book, the author makes a major leap forward in scope and depth. The novel--a harrowing take on the sickness that seeped out of Russia following the collapse of communism and infected New York and London--offers a frightening, apocalyptic vision of two cities drowning in success. Characters we've met before have grown and changed: Artie, still carrying several loads of immigrant baggage from his journey to Moscow to Israel to New York, is no longer a cop but a PI, doing special jobs for a much-subdued Sonny Lippert, his mentor, who's a federal prosecutor. Artie's lover, Lily Haines, now the mother of an adopted Chinese baby girl, is worried that Artie's current case--looking into a Russian connection to the murder of a wealthy and powerful Englishman who ruled his exclusive Sutton Place co-op with a ruthless hand--might stir up some old secrets of her own, especially about her ex-husband, who has a found a way to profit from the homeless. And Tolya Sverdloff, Cohen's charming and conniving friend from the streets of Moscow and Brighton Beach, is now a high-flying player in some brutal financial games, worried enough to have a secret steel-walled safe room carved into his apartment. The scenes set in New York City are taut and sharply etched, but the novel really takes off--into Nathaniel West country--when Artie follows Lily to a London ready to burst from catastrophic rains and the accumulated poisons of decades of official greed and neglect. This is a powerful portrait of cities, and people, wobbling on the edge. (Dec.)
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