Friday, August 20, 2010

Crystal Death-Charles Kipps

Crystal Death
Charles Kipps
Scribner, Sep 14 2010, $26.00
ISBN: 9781439139950

Forty-three years old NYPD Homicide Detective Conor Bard, is playing guitar with his band at the Rhythm Bar, pondering whether to be or not to be a musician by quitting the force when his Sergeant Amanda Pitts enters the West Side dive. He knows his boss is not there for the drinks, decorum or the music so he mouths sorry to the group and goes off stage to learn what his superior wants. He and his young inexperienced partner Rosito Rubio lead the high internationality visible murder of an Israeli diamond merchant.

In her Manhattan apartment someone sliced the throat of beautiful diamond dealer Zivah Gavish; adding insult by throwing diamonds all over her corpse. The inquiry has links to Israel and South Africa with suspects from both nations as well as a few locals. At the same time NYPD Lieutenant Rooney wants to remove Rubio from the case and replace her with a veteran; Bard objects as he argues she needs to learn the ropes sometimes and is an asset; besides she looks great.

The second musical detective police procedural (see Hell's Kitchen Homicide).is an enjoyable whodunit though the hero does not always hit the right notes. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Bard leaves one stage for another and never slows down even when he muses that he is a musician playing cop to feed himself. Although stereotypes abound including the hero, fans will enjoy his latest gig.

Harriet Klausner

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