Sunday, February 2, 2014

Red Hook by Gabriel Cohen

Red Hook
Gabriel Cohen
Open Road Integrated Media
Release Date: February 4, 2014

If you like well written crime novels the let me suggest that you pick up Red Hook by Gabriel Cohen. This is the first novel featuring Cohen’s detective Jack Leighter. Leighter is a top notch detective working for a special branch in Brooklyn. He is not assigned to an actual precinct, but instead works crimes throughout Brooklyn. He draws a case with a young murdered Dominican. There isn’t much to go on. The young man had a wife and two kids, a full time job, and now enemies. Everyone seemed to like him, but someone worked him over, stabbed him, and tried to hide the body in a canal

Leighter has very little to go on, but he just can’t let the case go. It isn’t that he has a lot to do with his life. He has been divorced for fifteen years and is unable to maintain any stable relationship. He barely speaks to his son. The one constant in his life is the job. Leighter is a complex character and as he investigates the case his own life begins to unravel at the seams. 

Red Hook is well written and spends as much time developing the character of Jack Leighter as it does on the actual case itself. You find yourself drawn into the character and you want to learn more about him. In many ways the book is about the end of an era. Leighter grew up in the working class community of Red Hook during the fifties and the sixties. He was the son of a Russian immigrant who came to the US and found would as a longshoreman. That neighborhood was killed when city planners decided to build a highway through the middle of the community. They uprooted shops and houses, and others had to move because of the noise. Now the area of his childhood is run down and killed with drugs and violence. Leighter must come to grips with the demons in his own past before he can move on and create stable relationships. Like Red Hook he has been scared by the world. The only question is will he be able to turn his own life around before it is too late.

Red Hook is a well written and enjoyable crime novel. The characters are intriguing and at the end you will look forward to reading the next Jack Leighter novel.

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