Review

The Dead Don’t Lie: An Abe Lieberman Mystery

by Stuart M. Kaminsky

The
late detective novelist Ed McBain was known for his police
procedurals set in the 87th precinct of Isola, a fictional city
based on the borough of Manhattan. McBain, whose real name was Evan
Hunter, wrote more than 50 books in the 87th Precinct series
along with countless other mysteries. The personal lives of
Detective Steve Carella and his fellow officers were intertwined
with their professional crime-solving duties. With McBain’s
death in 2005, the 87th precinct closed up shop.

 

Those who miss the men and women of the 87th precinct and their
travails through life can find a compelling substitute in the work
of Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Stuart M. Kaminsky, who
has written his 10th novel featuring police detective Abe
Lieberman. Lieberman differs from Carella in many ways. While
Carella is middle-aged and ruggedly handsome, Lieberman is near
retirement, dog-faced and suffers from insomnia. Unable to sleep,
the Chicago detective spends substantial time reading, viewing the
History Channel and watching old movies. Those pastimes contribute
to a wizened and cynical outlook on life. When a witness recognizes
Lieberman as Jewish and remarks that he is one of the chosen
people, Lieberman responds, “And an odd choice it
is.”

 

THE DEAD DON’T LIE follows a pattern that Kaminsky has
established in all of the Lieberman novels. Lieberman and his
longtime partner Bill Hanrahan are involved in multiple
investigations. Although they generally work together, this
particular book finds them working independently on two cases.
Hanrahan’s concerns a chef who is mugged for his wallet and
then shot by an unrelated assailant. Lieberman is called upon to
investigate multiple murders of members of Chicago’s Turkish
community. One of the deaths could have been prevented by
Lieberman, a fact that pushes the detective to even greater efforts
to find the killer.

 

While working the cases, the personal lives of the protagonists
cannot be forgotten. For Hanrahan, a 54-year-old recovering
alcoholic, it is impending fatherhood. His Chinese-American wife
Iris is in labor and will soon give birth to a daughter. His two
grown sons have not prepared him for what will occur. Lieberman
must contend with his brother’s threat to leave their
synagogue as well as the burden caused by raising two grandchildren
who have come to live with he and his wife when his daughter
re-married and moved to California.

 

Even with multiple storylines and complex characters, Kaminsky
keeps the plot moving toward well-crafted denouements. Lieberman,
through his wisdom and philosophy, dispenses more justice on the
streets of Chicago than ever could be handed out in any courtroom
in America. For those who loved the 87th Precinct novels,
all you need to do is journey 1,100 miles west. You will find
yourself in an equally compelling and endearing crime-fighting
world that is not to be missed.


   









Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on December 29, 2010

The Dead Don’t Lie: An Abe Lieberman Mystery
by Stuart M. Kaminsky

  • Publication Date: August 7, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books
  • ISBN-10: 0765316021
  • ISBN-13: 9780765316028