Miles Corwin,
Kind of Blue
(Greenview, 2010)

Ash Levine, the best detective the L.A. police force has to offer, quit the force a year ago after being suspended over the death of a witness in a murder case he was investigating. Now, however, an ex-cop has been murdered and the mayor is putting big pressure on the force to solve the crime. He wants the best men on the case, and the chief of detectives is faced with the fact that his best no longer works for the force. They bring Levine back.

He accepts because he's eaten with guilt over the death of his witness, and he figures if he's back on the force he can look into the old murder while working the current case. He quickly arrests a suspect but that only complicates the case. Convinced his suspect is innocent, Levine insists on continuing his investigation, an act that leads him into a maze of corruption.

Levine, a Jewish detective who loves to surf, makes an interesting hero, and Mike Corwin, a former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, knows the intricacies of both his city and its police force. Consequently, Kind of Blue reeks of authenticity.

Corwin also knows how to keep a narrative moving. As you get deeper into the novel, the plot complicates and the conflicts build and the tension keeps increasing. It all leads to maybe a few too many climaxes, but if you like good, solid police procedurals, you won't mind. Kind of Blue will keep you guessing and involved.

book review by
Michael Scott Cain

18 December 2010

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