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    THE BIG SILENCE by Stuart M. Kaminsky


    Forge, Tom Doherty Associates, December 2000

    In a city like Chicago, crime is a constant. Aging Police Detective Abe Lieberman and his partner Bill Hanrahan, track down a con man, the killer of a homeless man, and search for the kidnaped son of a mob informant all the while dealing with their own issues. Neither is certain that they are truly making the world a better place. Hanrahan is wrestling with alcoholism and a belief that he is a failure.

    Stuart M. Kaminsky (see more reviews of novels by Kaminsky) gives us more of a day in the life scenario than a sustained mystery, more accurately reflecting the hectic life of a pair of big-city police detectives. Without the time to devote to just one case, they must somehow juggle priories, make decisions to set one criminal free while nailing another. The decisions aren't always easy, nor are they morally unambiguous. What happens when a father kills to protect his daughter?

    While Kaminsky creates an exciting plot, the characters are what makes THE BIG SILENCE such a compelling novel. The tortured Hanrahan has found a woman he loves, but can he control the curse that drives him to take risks? Liebermanís entire family becomes a part of the story, even when they are not involved with the mystery itself. His wife is active in the synagogue, his daughter blames him for everything that has gone wrong with her life, his granddaughter is writing a report on how people die, and his grandson is studying for his Bar Mitzvah. Each detail paints a picture that feels real, that immerses the reader in the story and the world Kaminsky creates.

    Four Stars

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