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Bookmarks Issue: 
22-May-June-2006
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An Abe Lieberman Mystery

A-TerrorTownIn the ninth installment of the Abe Lieberman series (after The Last Dark Place, 2004), Lieberman, a Jewish cop approaching retirement, and his Irish Catholic partner, Bill Hanrahan, are investigating Chicago’s crimes once again. This time, a former Cubs player suffers a mysterious clubbing to the head while eating a hot dog in his favorite joint; a young black woman is murdered in a rough South Side neighborhood called Terror Town; and a maniacal prophet spreads the word by whatever means he can. To complicate matters, a potential mayoral candidate may be involved. Are these cases related?
Forge. 256 pages. $23.95. ISBN: 076531164X

Chicago Tribune 4 of 5 Stars
"Although he lives in Florida (where another of his four series is set), Kaminsky has a unique eye for Chicago’s meanest streets. … Kaminsky juggles all these elements with the skill of a grand master, making Lieberman not only a believably tough cop but also a soft and funny family man." Dick Adler

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"[B]eneath the mystery is a valentine to Chicago and its characters: a washed-up Cubs southpaw, a Pakistani dollar-store owner, and the old Jews who spend their days in Abe’s brother’s deli, kibitzing over bagels and herring. It’s a sentimental city of broad shoulders and blue collars, where gastronomic nirvana is a street hot dog with mustard, celery salt and tomatoes." Kevin Allman

NY Times Book Review 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Abe Lieberman, the grizzled cop in Stuart M. Kaminsky’s Chicago police procedurals, is one of the most enduring of the old-school detectives and here’s why: He adapts to change without sacrificing his values or losing his heart. … [Kaminsky] plots well and plays fair, while Lieberman keeps chaos at bay, holding his neighborhood together through the sheer force of his goodness." Marilyn Stasio

Critical Summary

Kaminsky was awarded the 2006 Grand Master Award by the Mystery Writers of America. One of his many creations, Abe Lieberman—a dog-eyed policeman with high cholesterol, an interest in Talmud, and a resigned attitude toward life—has endeared himself to critics yet again. Kaminsky also paints a masterly portrait of Chicago, from its ethnic neighborhoods to its crime scenes. The general consensus is that Terror Town is not the best in the series, but it will leave Lieberman fans anxious for more.