Putnam, Jul 2004, 23.95, 310 pp.
Several years have passed since the “friendly fire” bust nearly cost former NYPD African-American Officer Blades Overstreet his life. He became so acrimonious in his thirst for vengeance his beloved wife Anais fled across the country to California. His friend Noah helped Blades release some of his anger, but what helped most was winning his lawsuit against the NYPD last year for 2.5 million and getting Anais and their preadolescent daughter back living with him in Brooklyn. Much of the bitterness has left Blades though he can still taste some bile.
Blades attends Noah's sixtieth birthday party held at a South African restaurant when Ronan, the son of the guest of honor, arrives in spite of a rift wider than the Grand Canyon between father and son. The joy is short-lived when thugs appear and kill Ronan in front of the ecstatic party attendees. Perhaps he has a compulsive personality that makes Blades obsess over the homicide and makes inquiries, but soon finds his life and loved ones threatened by the Brooklyn-based Russian Mafia. Ignoring the police warning him to stay out of this and driving Anais crazy, Blades continues his private investigation.
LOVE AND DEATH IN BROOKLYN uses the same theme of a fanatical angry Blades seeking resolution but driving his wife crazy and the police confrontational as he did in the wonderful TOO BEAUTIFUL TO DIE yet the plot is wrapped around an entirely different delightful plot. While Blades stays true to character, the fast-paced story line takes readers throughout Brooklyn. The delightful secondary ensemble enables readers to see inside Blades and his co-star, the largest borough, to the heart and mean streets in a terrific urban private investigate tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner