Bittie’s hot dogs are worth waiting for. Outside the hot dog stand one summer afternoon, Maureen sits with her two children in the family’s car, wishing her husband would hurry up and get their food. Two men lurk nearby - a couple of drunks who had followed them from the supermarket. Before David can get into the car, the drunk men confront him, attack him, and take a baseball bat to his skull, while Maureen desperately tries to shield their little boy and girl.
The phone kept ringing and ringing the night that Jean Kaiser, then a child of ten, discovered her parents murdered in their bed. Now, twenty-five years later, the phone is ringing again in this taut novel of suspense. And Jean, who has since become a Chicago radio talk-show host and has a daughter of her own, is being stalked by a man she knows only by a slow, sinister voice on the telephone.
A pair of cops hunt the killer of the most beautiful hooker on Chicago’s North Side. On a blistering Chicago afternoon, the Cubs are winning and Abe Lieberman is waiting to meet a prostitute. This mild-mannered old police detective still has a few tricks up his sleeves - and one of them is named Estralda Valdez. One of the city’s loveliest women of the night, she is Lieberman’s most prized confidential informant, and she needs help with a psychotic john. Though they suspect she’s only paranoid, Lieberman and his partner, Bill Hanrahan, agree to watch Valdez’s back.
"How can this man write so much, and so well?"
In a posh part of Chicago’s North Side, two Trinidadian men look for someone to jump. Waiting outside an apartment building, they see a couple shivering in the cold as they make their way to their car. The Trinidadians draw guns, demand money - and quickly go too far. Shots ring out, and the muggers run. Behind them, the man is dead, and his pregnant wife lays bleeding in the street.The murder victim is the nephew of Abe Lieberman, one of the most dignified cops in Chicago homicide. When he learns of the killing, Lieberman’s calm facade cracks. As he works with his partner, Bill Hanrahan, to find the killers, Lieberman makes a pact with the devil....
"You are in the hands of a true master; a mensch."
Bernie Shepard comes home with a shotgun. He opens the door to his bedroom, and sees what he expected - his wife in bed with another cop. Two pumps of the shotgun take care of them, and Shepard carries out the rest of his plan. Accompanied by his dog, this half-mad detective goes to the roof of his building, where he has built a small fortress stocked with food, water, and weapons. Talking Shepard down falls to Abe Lieberman and Bill Hanrahan, the odd-couple partners in Chicago homicide.
"15 Stars for Lieberman's Allegory!"
dentist dangles from the window of a swanky Park Avenue hotel, while Toby Peters, a Los Angeles detective who's very far from home, clutches the man by his jacket, which is tearing slowly, stitch by stitch. Across the room, a dead man lies on the bed, his killer pounding on the hotel room door, which sounds like it's going to give way as quickly as the dentist's jacket. Somehow, this entire mess is Albert Einstein's fault. Two nefarious groups have been threatening the great physicist. One is a ring of blackmailers who claim to have evidence that he has been passing nuclear secrets to Russia.
"Too much Shelly"
Abe Lieberman, the Chicago PD detective, has never has it easy when it comes to emotional cases, but this time the action is getting little too close to home. His temple has been vandalized along with four others, and it looks like the vandals have more sinister plans in mind. Finding the culprit opens a window on the broiling ethnic tensions on Chicago's North Side, and what's happening in Abe's family life does nothing to turn down the heat.
"Enjoying the series and hoping for more soon"
It was one of those days when Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov should have stayed in bed. After braving a ferocious storm, Rostnikov arrives inside the Petrovka headquarters only to find three very peculiar investigations waiting for him. First there's cosmonaut Tsimion Vladovka, whose last words on the space station Mir were instructions to contact Rostnikov if something went wrong with the mission. Now, Vladovka is missing and his fellow cosmonauts are turning up dead.
The Victims: An unscrupulous cab driver. The killer's own frightened wife. Most troublesome of all, an outspoken dissident, watched closely by the KGB, whose trial had been set for the very next day. The Weapons: A heavy iron-headed hammer. A rusty, antiquated sickle. And a broken vodka bottle. The Cops:Tkach, who seduces suspects into confessing with his apparent innocence. Karpo, a bit of a Tartar, a bit of a vampire, a stolid saint of the Soviet faith.
"Narration is a heartbreaker"
At an icebound naval weather station in far Siberia, the young daughter of an exiled dies under suspicious circumstances. The high-ranking Commissar sent to investigate the mystery suffers a similar fate: he is murdered by an icicle thrust into his skull. Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is dispatched to solve the Commissar's murder, with one caveat: He is not to investigate the girl's death. Even if all the clues tell him that the two cases are linked.
George "Pitty Pitty" Patnik was a thief who thought he had everything planned for a nice, clean in-and-out burglary. But that was before he heard the screams and saw the blood. Before the long knife came down again and again. Before the murderer realized he had an audience.
"UGH! From a former FANBOY!"
On December 10, 1938, Atlanta burned again. In the back lot at David O. Selznick’s studio, sets from a dozen old pictures were pushed together and set alight to provide a backdrop for the climax of what Selznick promised to be the movie of the century: Gone with the Wind. Toby Peters, then just a studio security guard, was on hand to help keep the dozens of Confederate extras in line. When the fire was over, he found one of them dead, impaled on his own sword.
Moscow police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov has adapted well to life without Communism. But under the Soviets, blood feuds were pursued in the dark halls of bureaucracy, and now they take place in the streets. An international drug ring has chosen Moscow as its next port of call, and the only thing standing in its way is the budding Russian mob, headed by a young man whose brutality is matched only by his madness. In a gang war of this magnitude, no civilian is safe.
"Enjoy Rostnikov stories, not so much this topic."
Lew Fonesca is still a freelance process server, still has his office behind a Dairy Queen in Sarasota, and is still the friend of the poor and outcast. Now, he has two more cases he doesn't want, cases that will lead unerringly to the discovery of murder.
The year 1942 is a bad time to stage Madame Butterfly. Although Puccini's masterpiece is a perennial favorite of the San Francisco opera crowd, its sympathetic depiction of a Japanese girl causes tension in the dark months following Pearl Harbor. Newspaper editorialists rage against the production, opera buffs picket the theater, and a note appears nailed to the house door, threatening violence against the cast and crew. When the first workman dies, the maestro calls Toby Peters, a Los Angeles detective who works discreetly for Hollywood's rich and famous.
When Inspector Rostnikov arrives in the town of Arkush with Emil Karpo, the policeman nicknamed the Vampire, he finds a community stunned by the murder of the outspoken Father Merhum. But it is the priest's cryptic last words that make Rostnikov wonder if this was indeed a political assassination or a murder with a motive closer to home.
Lew Fonesca is a Sarasota part-time process server still mourning his dead wife and trying to get through life without any complications. But his life is full of them. His shrink wants him to dump his grief so he can have more of a life; a pretty social worker who has helped him in the past wants to "deepen" their friendship; and his big heart prevents him from saying no to people who need his help.
The Moscow Film Festival may lack Cannes' boats, bikinis, and gentle breezes, but it has nevertheless attracted scores of international actors, directors, and deal-makers. For some, the festival represents Moscow's re-emergence as a world-class city. But for a gang of zealots headed by a beautiful brunette, the festival represents a target, and they have been attacking the "film people" with frightening efficiency. Desperate to avoid embarrassment, the Kremlin is trying to cover up the killings. And desperate to stop the killers, the KGB has put Inspector Rostnikov on the case.
Three years ago, Lew Fonseca quit his job as a process server with the State's Attorney's office in Cook County, Illinois, and headed for Key West. Sidetracked by fate when his car broke down in Sarasota, Florida, he decided to stick around, making ends meet by doing some investigative work for local attorneys.
Toby Peters wakes up with a headache, a gun in his face, and a body on the hotel-room bed. He is less surprised by the gun than by the man holding it: Marion Morrison, a.k.a John Wayne. Both of them were lured here by the dead man. The next arrival is a prostitute named Olivia, and hot on her heels is the house detective, who's come to check on the commotion in Room 303.
"Johnny Heller Made the Difference"