cover image Lieberman's Day: An Abe Lieberman Mystery

Lieberman's Day: An Abe Lieberman Mystery

Stuart M. Kaminsky. Henry Holt & Company, $19.95 (260pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-2575-0

Kaminsky may be best known for his Toby Peters series, most recently The Melting Clock , set in 1940's L.A., but this third outing for Chicago homicide detective Abe Lieberman (after Lieb erman's Choice ) firmly establishes the characters and setting of this present-day series as well. Lieberman's nephew, David, and David's pregnant wife are shot in a late night mugging. David dies; his wife and unborn child survive, barely. Lieberman gets the case and in the following 24 hours deals with the grief of his brother and sister-in-law, the aftereffects of the collapse of his daughter's marriage, the desperate deal he cuts with a violent drug-dealer called El Perro to catch the killers and the busting of two con artists. Lieberman's partner, Bill Hanrahan, copes with his own alcoholism, ambivalent feelings for his runaway wife, his Chinese-American lover and murderous Frankie Kraylaw, whose abused wife and son he has been sheltering. Lieberman uncovers a final nasty secret about the murder as he and Hanrahan are involved in separate violent conclusions. Kaminsky masterfully limns his colorful characters, none more finely than 62-year-old Abe: smart, weary and loving, with a sorrowful, wise appreciation for life's absurdities and gifts. (Mar.)