A thick layer of tension and a seething urban hostility mix with the droll verbal shenanigans that distinguish this series (Lieberman's Day, etc.). The old Jewish men in the deli find it hard to crack wise when a synagogue is defaced and the priceless Torah is stolen. Aging Chicago cop Abe Lieberman takes the vandalism as a personal affront: it's his shul, and his wife, Bess, is its president. Meanwhile, he's also dealing with a Korean gang and some black kids who want him to stop sitting in their park after dark. He's fighting the effects of runaway cholesterol; his grandkids are living in his house; his prodigal daughter is coming home with her new black husband; and Hanrahan, his partner, is fixing to wed a Chinese woman. Helped by the favor mill of the streets, Abe hits the trail of a perverse alliance of white skinheads and Arab militants acting out, respectively, blind idiot racism and a 20-year-old vendetta. Multi-ethnic Chicago could hardly ask for a better ventriloquist than Kaminsky. The city comes warmly alive when hardened gang members wax sentimental over the Cubs and in the erudite speech of Abe, which contrasts markedly with the sudden, savage force he can apply to a kneecap when necessary. This is more cop drama than mystery. But such categories don't matter. This is a taut suspenseful tale, animated by a sometimes dark but decidedly moral vision. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996 Release date: 04/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-8125-7533-0
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