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Beat Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Writers of detective fiction, perhaps to counterbalance their protagonists’ superhuman talents, frequently afflict them with an addiction, usually alcohol, or in the case of Sherlock Holmes, cocaine. Schwartz’s Heyden Glass, LAPD homicide detective, likewise shows an all-too-human weakness, but he is a sex addict. In Beat, the department puts him on administrative leave in order to get straight, but he falls for a cyber sex worker named Cora. She is based in far-off San Francisco, and soon Glass is making weekly trips north; then Cora goes missing. Glass sets out to find her and learns she is a pawn in a deadly game of corruption. Her Russian crime lords want to keep her in tow because she gives them a hold on a crooked police administrator. The cops try to wave Glass off by showing him emails in which she ridicules him roundly. Sick at heart and ready to give up, Glass learns Cora is only 15, and he is back in the fray. Beat is an old-fashioned nail-biter that the not-too-squeamish aficionado of the hard-boiled genre will enjoy. --Steve Glassman

Review

“Just as I thought there wasn't an original take left on the detective novel, along comes Stephen Jay Schwartz and Beat. Fast and slick, this book is a great ride!”--Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Harry Bosch novels

“Stephen Jay Schwartz writes with a paintbrush and expertly guides us through the gates of hell into a world where sex and violence merge into a toxic yet highly addictive alternative reality.  Hayden Glass is a character we’ve not seen before, with fiendish impulses and a desperate desire to overcome his past.  This is one of the most darkly sexual books I’ve ever read and I devoured it in one suspenseful sitting. Schwartz pulled me in and held me captive from beginning to end.”--Katie Arnoldi, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of Point Dume

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328208
  • ASIN: B005OL85TS
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,870,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author Stephen Jay Schwartz spent a number of years as the Director of Development for film director Wolfgang Petersen (whose credits include Das Boot, In the Line of Fire, Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, Troy) where he worked with writers, producers and studio executives to develop screenplays for production. Among the film projects he helped developed are Air Force One, Outbreak, Red Corner, Bicentennial Man and Mighty Joe Young.

Stephen's own film work has exhibited at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Directors Guild of America, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

He also worked as a screenwriter and freelance "script doctor," developing concepts, treatments and feature films for independent film producers. His writing credits include Inside the Space Station, narrated by Liam Neeson and produced as a "Watch with the World" special for The Discovery Channel.

Boulevard, a very dark crime thriller set in present-day Los Angeles, is Stephen's first novel. His second novel is due out in Summer, 2010. In addition to writing novels, Stephen plans to direct feature films through his production company, Picaro Entertainment.

Stephen Jay Schwartz currently lives in Southern California with his wife and two young boys. Learn more about Stephen by visiting his website at stephenjayschwartz.com. Stephen also blogs regularly at the crime/thriller author blogsite www.murderati.com.

REVIEWS:

"Schwartz hasn't missed a trick in this gripping first novel. He begins with a knowing guided tour of LA's boulevards, i.e., "hooker strolls," as seen by the cop/customer, and he skillfully develops Hayden's flawed character, showing him to be decent, haunted, and sometimes loathsome. Most important, he artfully builds tension and suspense into horror and finishes with a stunning Grand Guignol climax. Expect much more from this talented writer."
--Booklist


Like James Ellroy, Hollywood film developer Schwartz can make the reader squirm, as shown in his debut, a disturbing thriller whose hero is addicted to sex. When several sex murders quickly follow the murder of a prominent councilman's niece, LAPD robbery and homicide detective Hayden Glass, who himself goes to 12-step meetings for sex addicts, senses a connection. Enlisting the help of Kennedy Reynard, an ex-FBI profiler whose skill competes with her raw sexuality for the detective's attention, the pair realize that what links the murders is Glass himself. Despite a denouement that's a tad strained, Schwartz does a fine job of blurring the lines between sexuality and violence, the criminal world and the police world. (Sept.)
--Publisher's Weekly


"Schwartz is skillful in rendering charcoal-sketch views of the darker corners of Sunset Boulevard, and he dazzles the reader with intermittent flashes of a poetic sensibility. . . .a book full of merit, by an author loaded with talent" -- Tom Nolan, Los Angeles Times


What Authors are saying about BOULEVARD:


"Boulevard is raw, twisted, and so hard-boiled
it simmers from beginning to end."
--Robert Crais, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Elvis Cole novels


"Boulevard is terrific. Fast-paced and convincingly told.
The streets of L.A. have never been meaner or seamier.
Stephen Jay Schwartz's clear vision and knowing heart
make him a gifted writer to watch."
--T. Jefferson Parker, NY Times Bestselling Author of The Renegades


"BOULEVARD is relentless and unflinching,
a shocking thriller that dares you to keep reading.
Schwartz has created one of the most complex and tortured protagonists I've encountered in a long time. A powerful debut."
--Tess Gerritsen, NY Times Bestselling Author of The Keepsake


"Tightly written and wildly original, you'll be thinking about this story long after you close the covers. Sex-addict Detective Hayden Glass is an unforgettable anti-hero you'll love and hate at the same time.
Stephen Jay Schwartz is going to give Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch a run for his money. BOULEVARD is just plain excellent."
--J.T. Ellison, bestselling author of The Judas Kiss


"A lurid nightmare tour through dark streets and dark minds. Stephen Jay Schwartz writes with the fevered intensity of early James Ellroy."
--Marcus Sakey, Strand Critics Award-winning author of Good People


"BOULEVARD is one of the most riveting debuts I have ever read. Stephen Schwartz has written a story that will enthrall you, haunt you, disturb you, and keep you thinking long after you've finished reading it.
Once you begin this book you won't be able to look away."
--Brett Battles, bestselling author of The Cleaner


"Dark and gritty, Schwartz's dicey debut is seriously twisted."
--Robert Ellis, bestselling author of City of Fire


"Stephen Jay Schwartz is a brave and gifted author, and Boulevard is an
electrifying journey into sinful delights and escalating evil.
Morally sound, addictive as a speed-ball, and rich with insight into
human frailty-this novel kept me awake and disturbed my dreams in all
the right ways. Lock your doors and read it."
--Christopher Ransom, International bestselling author of The Birthing House


"Boulevard is a mesmerizing read; Schwartz has drawn a swift, brutal, and compelling portrait of a nightmare underworld of Los Angeles and a protagonist tormented by his own sexual addiction as well as by a real human evil. Boulevard is one of the most compelling books on addiction I've ever read, wrapped up in a gripping thriller."
- Alexandra Sokoloff, bestselling author of The Unseen


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Deeth VINE VOICE on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
I wonder what would happen if you crossed a great crime-writer like Michael Connelly with a writer of gritty suspense movies set in the sexual underworld--something with crime and rather graphic and dark sexuality, I expect; something like The Beat. I'd already read author Stephen Jay Schwartz's short story Crossing the Line about a young LA cop assigned to vice, who learns the dark and practical way why one particular prostitute can never be arrested. When I read of Detective Hayden Glass's sex addiction on the back cover of The Beat, I knew what to expect. But the front cover quote from Michael Connelly is just as telling, describing The Beat as a great original take on detective fiction. It has a dark and gritty mystery, a powerfully convincing protagonist, a steamy underbelly running through San Francisco and internet porn, and a hard-fought-for hope. I hope it might make a good movie one day, but the novel's written with such convincing description, I feel like I've already seen it. Stephen Jay Schwartz is deservedly a Los Angeles Time Bestselling Author.

The abused women caught up in vice-torn San Francisco are only one side to this story. Protagonist Glass is a wounded soul himself, with dark secrets never wholly revealed, and a berserker anger that lies just a short way in his past (and future too perhaps). Rewarded with the Medal of Honor for his valiant capture of a violent criminal, he's also consigned to the psychiatrist's couch for the destruction he wrought, and for his sex addiction. A cop with a beat of his own and demons to beat, Glass has not really fallen; he just falling with style he thinks, till the girl he believes he loves disappears and her captors fail to kill him. Now the search is on. Who owns whom? Whose money buys which influence? And who's on the take?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. on December 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How folks can give 5 stars to this novel escapes me. The writing is ordinary, the story line odd and perverted. Basic facts such as how to get to the Berkeley Hills are a mess. The Bay Bridge is not the 101 Freeway north- that's the Golden Gate Bridge. Then there is the whole question of the main character, an LAPD cop with a sex perversion who is pursuing a call girl on his own dime. Yet the Feds decide to let him raid a bar in San Francisco on his own. My smell test is going haywire by now. How the reader identifies either with the call girls, the bad guys, or the cops, who are essentially bad guys in this story, I don't know. The author seems to want to paint a picture of a hard-boiled cop pursuing the bad girl in an effort to do right, but he is not. He's pursuing his own perversion, and the author gives him the color of law to do so. He's already once led the call girl into the lair of the bad guys. It's just not realistic, in my opinion. And not very interesting, either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BooksatVioletCrush on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Beat has the makings of a typical detective novel in many ways. It has the usual ingredients, the detective of course, a complicated case and a chase with some action thrown in. What is probably different from most detective novels is the protagonist Hayden Glass.

Hayden Glass is a LAPD detective who is currently on a leave or a forced medical leave and is undergoing therapy for sex addiction. One day, after he has been clean for around 2 months he enters a video chat room after surfing a sex site for days. He enters the chat and sees a prostitute called Cora whom he instantly becomes obsessed with. After a few months of relentlessly "meeting" her online, she disappears. He follows her to San Francisco where she told him she lived and tracks her down in a hotel room.

2 heavy-set Russian guys enter the room, beat him up, rape Cora and take her with them. What follows is Hayden's chase to find Cora. In the process he gets involved with the San Francisco Police department, the FBI and the Russian mafia with their underground sex trade.

I found the premise different and interesting with the writing flowing smoothly as well. There was a little too much Detective Jargon which I found a little difficult to follow as first but got used to later. Besides it just shows how much research and preparation the author has done. The sense of place is also very strong in Beat. I could picture the alleys and the night life of San Fransisco within the pages.

I found Hayden Glass most interesting. He revealed various shades as the novel progressed, becoming a sex addict to a detective, to a man who would risk anything for a girl, to an almost nice person at the end. He was not a black and white caricature detectives are usually portrayed as.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Beren on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
After cruising BOULEVARD, the first astonishing novel from Stephen Jay Schwartz, we waited with foot-tapping impatience for more from this totally fresh author. He is back on the street with BEAT and if you found BOULEVARD gloriously hard-boiled, then you better grab your delicate little huevos when you open BEAT 'cause the heat's just been turned up!

Michael Connelly has pronounced BEAT "fast" and a "great ride". It's more. BEAT is so fast paced your eyes will get word burn. Better not start it late on a Sunday because you will be up all night to finish and won't be fit for the cubicle in the AM.

Homicide detective Hayden Glass, on medical leave from the LAPD sincerely believes that he can effectively assuage his sex addict's yearnings by merely surfing the internet porn sites. That's harmless enough, right? Then he sees an intriguing young woman in an online "room" and reads six words ("I'M CORA. COME TALK TO ME.") that will lead him back from the precarious edge of his sobriety to cross over the fog-shrouded line of his addiction once more.

Hayden flees Los Angeles where, in the previous novel, his neon-eerie Sunset Boulevard hooker cruising was a "problem". With this predictable return of his obsession firmly gripping the wheel, he drives north to find Cora and lands himself on the streets of San Francisco, but it is The City By The Bay that tourists never see.

I know San Francisco. I came there in 1956. When I read BEAT I felt like I was seeing the city through native eyes, albeit wearing dark sunglasses with reflective lenses. Stephen Jay Schwartz scrapes up the smells off the street, offers us the taste of homeless futility and earbuds us the background buzzing of the local hive.
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