cover image Lieberman's Choice

Lieberman's Choice

Stuart M. Kaminsky. St. Martin's Press, $18.95 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08836-1

Sixty-year-old Chicago cop Abe Lieberman (introduced in the praised Lieberman's Folly ) returns in a deliberately minimalist story carried by dialogue and characterization. Abe would rather shoot the breeze with his pals in the local deli than brave the mean streets of the Windy City's north side. He's not scared or lazy, just wise and fond of his life, which includes an independent wife, a difficult daughter, a pompous son-in-law and Hanrahan, his boozing Irish partner. Fellow cop Bernie Shephard finds his wife and another cop in bed and blows them away, retreating to the roof of his apartment building with food, his dog, guns and explosives. He kills a couple of gung-ho SWAT-team snipers and is willing to die himself, planning to take several blocks of real estate with him when he goes. An assortment of official plans to thwart him yields to a final rooftop confrontation with Abe and the police captain. As orchestrated by Kaminsky (author also of the Porfiry Rostnikov series), Abe's conversation--whether with his old Jewish buddies, some small-time cons or his family--is pure pleasure, with never a false, extraneous note. (Feb.)