This is the third in Cohen’s series featuring Detective Jack Leightner, a sensitive Jewish homicide cop working for the NYPD. Leightner is trying to solve two cases in Brooklyn; one involves the immigrant Russian community in Brighton Beach, the other is set in Crown Heights with its varied Jewish sects. The divorced detective’s personal life comes into play as he fights his attraction to the beautiful wife of a murder victim. Leightner is also slowly discovering facts about his father’s and uncle’s past lives during World War II and his own roots as a Russian Jew. The author describes the Brighton Beach and Coney Island neighborhoods’ sights and smells in colorful detail. As a Brooklyn native, I enjoyed this fast-paced book and intend to read Cohen’s first novel in the series, Red Hook, which was a finalist for the Edgar Award.
Miriam Bradman Abrahams is a Cuban-born, Brooklyn-raised, Long Island-residing mom. She is Hadassah Nassau’s One Region One Book chairlady, a freelance essayist, and a certified yoga instructor who has loved reviewing books for the JBC for the past ten years.