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Closing Time Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425187128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425187128
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,480,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first novel by the Wall Street Journal music critic mixes a noirish, suspense-packed story and sharply defined characters, including Diddio, an affable, spacey music critic. Two years earlier, a lunatic pushed writer/researcher Terry Orr's acclaimed artist wife and their infant son beneath a subway train, leaving Terry and his precocious 10-year-old daughter, Bella, bereft. Impatient with the slow-moving official investigation, Terry took out a private detective's license so he could catch Raymond Montgomery Weisz, the elusive suspect. One strand of this often violent story follows guilt-ridden, obsessive Terry's fruitless search for Weisz. Another concerns his inquiry into the murder of a livery cab driver. When a bomb explodes at a SoHo art gallery and severely injures the owner, Terry takes on that case, too. The investigations lead from an academically challenging private school for African-American children in Harlem to the bars and studios of cutting-edge artists in lower Manhattan. Fusilli is an imaginative, daring writer, creating a pulsating, nightmarish Manhattan where position and appearance are deceptive. Terry and Bella are a closely knit father and daughter rebuilding their lives while exorcising the tragedy in their past. Fusilli contrasts this loving relationship with the horrors of disintegrating families and child prostitution Terry uncovers elsewhere. The separate cases don't so much combine as collide after Terry makes a few intuitive leaps. Readers will anxiously await the sequel to this outstanding debut. (Sept. 10)Forecast: Robert B. Parker, Thomas Perry, Harlan Coben and Nevada Barr supply advance praise, but this first novel will appeal, strongly, to the same readership as that for Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Fusilli, a music critic for the Wall Street Journal, writes engagingly about the current New York music and art scene, while skewering the pretensions of fellow critics and artsy types. His comic criticisms of the current urban scene, spinning from a domestic story of a father and daughter making life work for each other, give the novel a Jane Austen-like feel. The hero (and, in this novel, the hero actually lives up to the standard of growth and change), Terry Orr, is trying to put together a life for himself and his pre-adolescent (and irritatingly brilliant) daughter after the murders of his wife and infant son. He's arbitrarily plunged into an investigation when, within days, he stumbles on the body of a cab driver and then witnesses an explosion at a SoHo art gallery. The mystery here is secondary to the urban landscape and the compelling drama of a man working toward the light. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jim Fusilli is an American writer. He serves as the rock and pop music critic of The Wall Street Journal and is the author of six novels. A native of Hoboken, NJ, he lives in New York City.

Fusilli's debut novel, the mystery "Closing Time," is the last work of fiction set in New York City published prior to the 9/11 attacks. The following year, Fusilli's mystery "A Well-Known Secret" addressed the impact of 9/11 on the residents of New York City. Two novels for adults followed: "Tribeca Blues" and "Hard, Hard City," which Mystery Ink magazine named its 2004 Novel of the Year.

In 2005, Fusilli wrote "Pet Sounds," his tribute to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' classic album. Described as "an experiment in music journalism," the book combines the rhythm and emotional weight of his fiction with the often-unorthodox observations of his music criticism for the Journal, for whom he has written since 1983.

Fusilli served as the editor of, and contributed chapters to, the award-winning serial thrillers "The Chopin Manuscript" and "The Copper Bracelet." His novel for young adults "Marley Z and the Bloodstained Violin" was published in 2008.

Fusilli has written and published many short stories; in several, he developed Narrows Gate as the setting, depicting the city in different eras. "Chellini's Solution," which appeared in the 2007 edition of the Best American Mystery Stories, features Narrows Gate in the years following World War II. "Digby, Attorney at Law" portrays the fictional city in the early 1960s. "Digby" was nominated for the Edgar and Macavity awards in 2010.

Fusilli is married to the former Diane Holuk, a senior public relations executive. They have a daughter, Cara, a graduate of the New School.

Customer Reviews

This is explained on the third page of the book.
All in all, it's an intriguing debut, but with a few too many loose ends to make the book as cohesive as it could have been.
Elizabeth Lakewood
Jim Fusilli has written a powerful character study inside an engaging mystery novel.
Harriet Klausner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David M. Scott on September 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An incredible portrait of contemporary Manhattan is the setting for this modern Noir debut. The novel's New York atmosphere -- reeking, overwhelming, charming, quaint and foul -- makes an unforgettable location for a thriller. Jim Fusilli's got New York down. Following Terry Orr from the book's opening death scene as a cabdriver is found slain in the city's downtown meatpacking district, a reader feels compelled to stop, look around and sniff. You're in New York and Fusilli's New York grabs you and forces you to pay attention.
Terry is a man haunted by an act of violence that took his wife and infant son. She was a beautiful, Italian artist and with her passing, Terry pours his love into his twelve-year-old daughter Bella. They do cool father-daughter things like go to rock concerts and gallery openings. After the cabdriver's death, Terry finds himself witnessing other seemingly isolated events including an explosion at a gallery that once displayed his late wife's work. He's on his way, honing the PI trade that he's adopted to rid himself of his demons. Terry tends to leave Bella with her Nanny as he moves from one part of Manhattan to another, searching for the people he's lost, but the daughter who loves him may quite possibly be his best hope for survival.
The gritty pulse of the city comes alive with scene after scene like a pick-up basketball game in a downtown "cage" court where perspiration from buffed basketball bodies splashes off the page. Terry studied Turn of the Century New York at St. Johns University and we're with him as he admires a converted bank building in Harlem or the newel post of a Brownstone. With a keen eye, ear and nose for modern New York, Jim Fusilli is a new mystery writer to watch.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jim on November 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In reviews of his new book Fusilli has been compared with Robert Parker, Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke, so he would not need me to defend him. But one of the reviews of Closing Time is so unfair that I just felt I had to speak my mind. This reviewer criticizes Fusilli's dialogue. I totally, totally disagree. I think it is so authentic. When Terry Orr is in a calm mood or when he is thinking about his wife he speaks like an educated man. When he loses his temper or is tired he talks like a street punk. (I think this would be a clue to his upbringing.) This is explained on the third page of the book. Also I love the music because Terry and his daughter can't even agree on that! (Terry 's music is sad. But Bella is trying to be happy. But why does she like old rock and roll?)
I encourage people to try this book. It's sad, or I would say melancholy but it feels just like real life. I would call it one of my favorite detective books, period. Fusilli is going places with this series!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Tipple VINE VOICE on July 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the fun things about reviewing (and no, it's not the money) is finding new authors and series that one might not have known about otherwise. I was recently sent the forth book in this series, "Hard, Hard City" by Jim Fusilli for an upcoming review at another site. Having read and enjoyed "Hard, Hard City" so much, it seemed an excellent idea to look for the rest of the series. For once, my local library had them all.

The series opens with "Closing Time" and it is in this book we meet many of the principal characters. Terry Orr is mourning the violent passing of his wife Marina and their baby boy as well as dealing with thoughts of vengeance and retaliation against the man he believes is responsible. Since the police have been unable to help, Terry has put his successful writing career on the backburner and is aggressively learning how to be a private investigator. He believes by doing so he can achieve his goal of apprehending the man responsible for the virtual destruction of his family. Some would say he also put on the backburner his beautiful 12-year-old daughter, Gabriella (affectionately nicknamed "Bella"), but he would strongly disagree.

He would argue that he is dealing with things as best as he can. That is all he can do, day-to-day, as he adjusts but he sees Marina and the baby symbolically in everything around him. He certainly does when he sees Judith Henley Harper and their chance meeting on a New York City street is another dig into his soul. Harper used to be his wife's agent as Marina painted beautiful pictures that sold and sold very well. Thanks to her paintings and Terry's own book sales, money still isn't an issue in their home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
To those who don't live there, New York can seem a dangerous place. Its inhabitants *know* it is, but they also know how to deal with it. Sometimes. In the case of Terry Orr, respected writer of popular history and husband of a highly-regarded Italian artist, the death two years ago of his wife and infant son on a subway platform at the hands of a crazed derelict has changed his entire world, even in ways he hasn't yet realized. Now, having given up writing for a PI's license, he tries to learn how to find and (perhaps) take revenge on the killer. Rather than explaining all of that, though, this first in the series begins "in media res", revealing the back-story bit by bit, through Terry's letters to his late wife, through his largely hostile sessions with a psychiatrist, and through the words and actions of his circle of supportive friends. The two cases he undertakes here involve the murder of a black hack driver whose body he discovers while jogging, and the bombing of the art gallery owned by his wife's agent. The two plots are uncomplicated but realistic, the sort of thing that happens all the time in the Big City, but the real story centers on Terry's inner turmoil and on his relationship with his very bright twelve-year-old daughter, Bella. Fusilli is a music critic (like Terry's close friend, Diddio the pothead), but this is his first novel. He shows great talent in delineating his vividly three-dimensional characters: Automatic Slim, the ex-con basketball artist; Montana, a street kid on the way even farther down; Sol Beck, derivative artist with nowhere to go; Jimmy Mango, general hustler, and his brother, Tommy the Cop; Luther Addison, homicide lieutenant with thinly-stretched tolerance; and perhaps the most important character of all -- New York City.
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