cover image The Best Assassination in the Nation

The Best Assassination in the Nation

Joshua Cohen. Kasva, $14.95 trade paper (324p) ISBN 978-1-948403-50-4

In 1952, traumatized WWII vet Benjamin Gold, the hero of Cohen’s triumphant debut, is handling routine cases as a struggling gumshoe. Before the war, Gold worked as a lawyer at a white-shoe Cleveland law firm with connections to his wife’s wealthy family, the Forsythes. When he was put into a psychiatric ward after the war, he was fired and his wife divorced him. Now he’s consulted by Judith Sorin, whose father, Maury, was known as the local Clarence Darrow before he was gunned down in a stickup by a drug addict who was himself fatally shot soon afterward by an off-duty cop. Though the authorities consider Maury’s murder solved, his daughter is convinced he was deliberately targeted for death by Gold’s former in-laws. Judith believes her father was retained by someone with dirt on the Forsythes and was murdered as a result. Gold agrees to investigate, despite the lack of solid leads, and soon gets in over his head. The crisp prose and rich characterizations elevate a standard hard-boiled plotline. Fans of classic PI novels will hope for more from Cohen. (Mar.)