St. Martin's, Oct 2001, 23.95,
Someone murdered Dominican Tomas Berrios, but before the killers can toss the body into the nearby canal off RED HOOK, Brooklyn, someone must have arrived. The culprits flee the crime scene leaving behind a corpse whose legs are tied to two concrete blocks.
The crime makes no sense as Tomas was considered a good citizen who worked hard, was married and had two children. Even more surprising is the reaction of NYPD Detective Jack Leightner who vomits when he first sees the victim. Unable to resist the case, Jack obsessively investigates because a murder in RED HOOK brings back his own unhappy childhood memories and a reminder of his own failings with his son just like his own dad failed with him. Apparently his son is beginning to emulate that relationship.
RED HOOK is a very good police procedural that is actually a powerful relationship drama. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as Jack makes inquiries into Tomas' murder, but also into why his own life is such a failure at least in his mind. Gabriel Cohen takes Chapin's Cat in the Cradle and places it inside an urban who-done-it starring realistic people who make quite an enjoyable novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner