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A Cold and Broken Hallelujah (Long Beach Homicide) [Kindle Edition]

Tyler Dilts
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,347 customer reviews)

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From the Editor

My favorite crime novels care about the victim. They don't forget that a person—albeit a fictional one—died to put the story in motion. Tyler Dilts's protagonist, detective Danny Beckett, cares about the deceased when no one else does. He's on a mission to discover who the dead man was and what brought him to the circumstances of his final days. There's a heart to this mystery that is both tender and broken.

Tyler uses the framework of the investigation to communicate something about the human condition. We are, he shows us, more than just a name, a social security number, a height, weight, shoe size, eye color. We strive to connect, to be understood—and Beckett wants to understand the victim of this terrible crime. He inventories the dead man's shopping cart, which contains all his earthly possessions.

To tell the story of the man, Beckett has "Fleece blanket, recently laundered" the way Hemingway had "Baby shoes, never worn." The detective pieces together an identity for the dead man so he can understand the world that killed him.

Tyler has crafted both their stories carefully, as one man's death leads another man to face the missing pieces of his own life.

- Alison Dasho, Editor

Book Description

On a sweltering September night, Long Beach Homicide Detective Danny Beckett is called to a grisly crime scene at the mouth of the Los Angeles River. A defenseless homeless man has been burned to death by three teenagers with gang ties. The suspects are already in custody, and the evidence is overwhelming—but when one suspect’s brother is targeted for murder, Danny starts to think there may be more to this seemingly clear-cut case. Obsessed with discovering the true identity of the victim, a gentle vagrant who may have been hiding a tortured past, Danny and his team start to uncover a high-reaching conspiracy that puts them all at risk—and threatens to open new wounds that could cut even deeper than Danny’s old ones.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As a child, Tyler Dilts dreamed of following in the footsteps of his policeman father. Though his career goals changed over time, he never lost interest in the daily work of homicide detectives. Today he teaches creative writing at California State University in Long Beach, and his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Best American Mystery Stories, and numerous other publications. He is the author of A King of Infinite Space and The Pain Scale, the first two novels in the Long Beach Homicide series. He lives with his wife in Long Beach, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3415 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477824499
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 1, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
274 of 294 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To start, Dilts is a very captivating author. The book begins with a superbly detailed image of where the novel is taking place. He does a good job of introducing the main characters, including the detective Danny and his partner Jen.

The book is a classic mystery novel, where you're never sure of the outcome until the very end. However, the book makes you think it's a clear cut case, but obviously the book would be too short it it was that easy! It's full of plot twists that keep it exciting but remains understandable and easy to follow. I won't give any spoilers, but I enjoyed the last 10% of the novel, especially the lessons it can teach all of us. I would highly recommend this book to any friend.

Feel free to leave any questions/discussion and I will attempt to answer promptly.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Toast August 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Danny Beckett' s job took him to a grisly crime scene that would have ended most hardened careers. A homeless man had been set afire, burned to death, and charred beyond recognition. Danny had to set aside memories of his wife's fiery death. He had to swallow a sickening lump of bile, to clear his mind, and refocus his skilled eyes.

Danny had to organize all the jig-saw pieces. The shopping cart filled with odds and ends would be a start. The dregs and debris of the victim's life were like sticky glue holding him together, even though, family and community had given up and turned away. This deep chasm needed to be scaled. Did he have a wife, sister, brother, or children to mourn for him? Why were the shoes and pants in different sizes? Had the homeless man seen something he shouldn't have seen? Who was this man who had suffered a firey hell on earth?

Something didn't set right. The teens had been apprehended immediately. How could youth be so callous, so cruel? Why not a gun, or a knife? Were they trying for more than met the eye? Follow along. This is a mesmerising, well written mystery. The story line will hold your attention to the end, and quite possibly, even beyond. Thanks for the read.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tyler Dilts has taken us to a place in the streets and in our hearts where we must find the humanity in others to understand our own. A Cold and Broken Hallelujah is a clear example of a police procedural breaking the genre barrier.

I have been homeless, addicted and marginalized in the past and now work helping othes change for better lives. The author has done an excellent job of portraying the homeless and those in the helping professions. Mr. Dilts empathy s authentic and not preachy.

This novel has everything a book ought to have, a great plot, solidly developed characters, its well written and it leaves me wanting more. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting not only a great read but to make friends with an author with two other great novels and a very bright future.

One last thing. Regarding James Lee Burke and Tyler Dilts: I don't think Tyler Dilts is trying to be the James Lee Burke of Long Beach. I do think he IS the Tyler Dilts of Long Beach. Dilts and Burke are very different writers. They do however have one thing in common. They are both great authors that entertain us while making us think.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST DETECTIVE STORIES IN A LONG TIME! August 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
A Cold and Broken Hallelujah by Tyler Dilts is the third book in the Long Beach Homicide series, following the earlier two books A King of Infinite Space and The Pain Scale. Long Beach, California-based author Tyler has crafted an extremely compelling character in Long Beach Homicide Detective Danny Beckett. The story is realistic, definitely enjoyable, and it is one of the best detective stories in a very long time.

In A Cold and Broken Hallelujah, Detective Danny Beckett walks through the drama, suspense and action with élan as he probed the horrific death of a homeless man at the hands of three teenagers who doused him with gasoline from a giant 7-Eleven soda cup and set him on fire. The man exploded into flames. With the suspects in custody, the case should have been solved and closed. But the plot thickens as Danny delves deeper and discovered a convoluted web of conspiracy behind the gruesome killing of a drifter.

Tyler Dilts is fast emerging as a great writer of detective stories. The ease with which he turned a simple murder story into a fine and thrilling crime mystery is proof of his creativity. His superb handling of Danny Beckett and the planting of other secondary characters into the twisted plots with never-ending surprises along the way make A Cold and Broken Hallelujah an entertaining read.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Series August 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I knew this book had potential when I saw the Leonard Cohen inspired title. I ended up ordering all three books in this series and read them over a long weekend. I enjoyed the variety of plots and the descriptions of all the homicide detectives, particularly the principal players. I think many of the negative reviews are harsh for I find it perfectly conceivable that a homicide detective can listen to both National Public Radio and the BBC and that an author can offer a fresh perspective on a well worn genre. I downgraded to four stars because the author needs to develop a consistent narrative for Beckett 's wife (it changes on a major point from one book to the next.) I also agree that the ending for this book was a little far-fetched. I would recommend this series and look forward to further books by this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a Good Read
Kept me interested from beginning to end. Enjoyed the many turns and the relationships that developed as the story unfolded
Published 3 hours ago by Maureen Ottenlips
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good mystery read, though I expected more at the end.
Published 6 hours ago by Barbara Lindberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
Interesting and well written. Unusual locale but I know it well as I grew up in that part of LA suburbs (attended Long Beach City College). Read more
Published 11 hours ago by Pharaoh
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 12 hours ago by mary knutson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good don't want to put down read.
Published 15 hours ago by joella b wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series!!
Thank you Tyler Dilts!! This is truly a GREAT series!! Please, keep it going.... I am ready for book four!
Published 16 hours ago by LaLam
4.0 out of 5 stars Compassion with a hard edge
Meet Danny Beckett, a homicide detective with a heart.
Compassion with a hard edge, determination against impossible odds.
A good read. You will like him.
Published 18 hours ago by Gene Berk
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Good book, keeps your interest.
Published 18 hours ago by VATom
4.0 out of 5 stars characters you can believe and well written.
I really enjoyed this book. I am not big on crime drama, but I found the story drew me in quickly. I never felt like I was being led on a wild goose chase. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Andrew J. Fultz
4.0 out of 5 stars Who was the burning man?
I enjoyed this book a great deal, well plotted and paced.
Published 1 day ago by Oz Ozborne
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More About the Author

Tyler Dilts grew up in Southern California and received his MFA from California State University, Long Beach, where he now teaches. His writing has appeared in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCTION, THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES, and in numerous other publications. A KING OF INFINITE SPACE is his first novel. You can contact him online at And you may even run into him, awake in the darkness, long after midnight, somewhere in Long Beach.

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