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5.0 out of 5 stars I found a new favorite!
Although this is my first book by Cohen, he is now one of my favorites and I will be reading more.  The main character is a New York police homicide detective who we get to see become more self-reflective as he struggles with his life.  This is a complicated mystery with complicated characters, with no simple or trite results.  Pretty real relationships also.  I learned a...
Published 5 months ago by Buddha Baby

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CHARACTERS FOIL THE STORY
This is the 2nd volume in the Jack Leightner - a Brooklyn homicide detective - series, (I haven't read the first). This police procedural centers on the unidentified body of a boy which washes up onshore in a home-made coffin in New York Harbor. The case itself and the others Leightner is tasked to solve make for an engaging read. What drags this book down are the...
Published on April 5, 2010 by JoeV


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5.0 out of 5 stars I found a new favorite!, January 16, 2014
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Buddha Baby (Sacramento, CA) - See all my reviews
Although this is my first book by Cohen, he is now one of my favorites and I will be reading more.  The main character is a New York police homicide detective who we get to see become more self-reflective as he struggles with his life.  This is a complicated mystery with complicated characters, with no simple or trite results.  Pretty real relationships also.  I learned a bit about how complicated the interactions of river currents and tides are, an old island near Manhattan that was once a small town with a life and culture of its own, and also a tiny touch of Buddhism and Judaism.  I had no idea where this story was going and couldn't put it down until I found out.   This was a five star read for me and I look forward to more by this author.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "To see the world more clearly...", May 5, 2011
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Dormilona (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Graving Dock (Jack Leightner Crime Novels) (Hardcover)
I borrowed this book from my library and didn't want to give it back. It's a crime novel, but eventually I found I was reading not only a compelling, beautifully written mystery, but also a meditation on our various responses to the calamities, insults, and losses life hurls at us. The characters make their choices; the consequences are poignant and convincing. Cohen slipped some diamonds of wisdom into the pages of this book. If you're open to them, you may never be the same after reading it. That's why I had to buy this book for myself before I could part with the library copy.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Graving Dock, August 29, 2009
After reading the first book "Red Hook", I found the "Graving Dock" to be a more interesting read as well as a faster paced novel. The first book spent a lot of time giving background that I felt was unnessary and slowed the book down. The second book in the series gave enough background to be interesting and capable as a stand alone story.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Hope there will be More Jack Leightners, March 17, 2009
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J. Houlding (Scandia, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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Both The Graving Dock and Red Hook were pleasures to read - realistic characters, palpable settings, and beautifully paced.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good genre book with slight deviations from the usual, August 18, 2009
i picked this book up after hearing about gabriel cohen on NPR, and upon learning that his out-of-print debut novel "red hook" can run you $80-150 from online sellers who do have a copy. so i started with this one, which is easier to get and less expensive (and equally highly rated). after all the hype, i was expecting a bit more but was not seriously disappointed either. "graving dock" is a good detective genre book, easily falling in line with previous writers like chandler, block, etc. it deviates from the usual formula somewhat by making the city a living, breathing entity that really casts a tangible presence to red hook, brooklyn. the writing and plot are strong, the characterizations a bit campy at times. in short, this is a good book not a great book with a few unique angles that you don't normally find in standard cookie-cutter detective novels.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CHARACTERS FOIL THE STORY, April 5, 2010
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JoeV "Reader" (Arlington Hts, IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Graving Dock (Jack Leightner Crime Novels) (Hardcover)
This is the 2nd volume in the Jack Leightner - a Brooklyn homicide detective - series, (I haven't read the first). This police procedural centers on the unidentified body of a boy which washes up onshore in a home-made coffin in New York Harbor. The case itself and the others Leightner is tasked to solve make for an engaging read. What drags this book down are the sub-plots concerning Jack's romantic life and his shady partner, which are both predictable and tiresome. Although I may pick up another book in this series it won't be the first on my reading list.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interview on NPR hooked me on this author, September 26, 2009
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I listened to an interview on NPR with Gabriel Cohen, who read an excerpt from this book and who explained the historical context of all three mysteries: Red Hook, The Graving Dock and Neptune Avenue. I downloaded Neptune Avenue onto my Kindle, had to search used book booksellers to find the other two. I read them backwards and it is the first mystery I have ever read. I was enthralled. (I read non-fiction) I am now interested in mystery and will be looking for Gabriel Cohen's next episode with Jack Leightner.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting exploration of gender conflict, May 22, 2008
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This review is from: The Graving Dock (Jack Leightner Crime Novels) (Hardcover)
Gabril Cohen is the fascinating author of the detective series starring private dick Jack Leightner. However, having read these books I've found that the true depth of this series can only be understood if it is read in context of Cohen's nonfiction work, in particular the riveting Storms Can't Hurt the Sky. In this nonfiction work, Gabriel Cohen writes about his imploding marriage. Much to his credit, he shows the reader that he has a profound anger management problem and that this is why his wife left him (in the dead of night, undoubtedly fearing for her life). Cohen's anger is on display years after his wife leaves him when he explodes at an innocent email she sends him asking to get together. To confront his anger problem Cohen turns to Buddhism. But here is where it gets interesting. The entire subtext to the book, as I read it, was Cohen's anger at women, yet he explores it further through his fiction with his gender confused, women hating gay private dick Jack Lieghtner. What makes this so riveting is that Jack lives in the closet. When will he come out? Therein is the tension. Given his recognition of his anger and exploration of identity issues, the books thusly are highly recommended.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful new voice, February 13, 2008
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"The Graving Dock" is set in the New York City of December of 2001, and is the second in the Jack Leightner series. Leightner is a NYC detective and a member of the Brooklyn South Homicide Task Force. The book begins a few months after Jack had barely survived a shooting incident in a basement in Red Hook, a section of Brooklyn near the docks where Jack lives. Divorced for 15 years, and the father of a boy in his early twenties, Jack has been working up the nerve to propose to his girlfriend, Michelle, with whom he is deeply in love.

When a handmade coffin washes up on the shore in the harbor, Jack gets the call, and it is found to contain the body of a young boy with the letters "GI" written on his forehead. At a loss to identify the boy, things only get more complicated when another body turns up, with the same letters emblazoned on it. The ensuing investigation requires dogged police work, but Jack is determined to find the killer. At the same time, he has to find out the reason for the preoccupation - almost to the point of indifference - of the detective from the local precinct with whom he is partnered, while at the same time dealing with the not-as-easy-as-he-thought matter of his engagement. The hunt takes him, and the reader, to Governors Island, a relatively unknown parcel of land a quarter-mile from the Brooklyn shore now in disuse, formerly an old Army and then Coast Guard base until the mid-nineties.

To this reader, most of whose life has been lived in Brooklyn, the author gets the descriptions and the feel of that borough, of New York, and New Yorkers, exactly right - especially nailing the "shell-shocked, dazed" world in which they lived in those traumatic days, mostly by oblique references that capture the atmosphere, not with a heavy hand, but with an expert touch. Some authors are good storytellers, some are good writers - Mr. Cohen is both. If you haven't read any of his books yet, now is the time to do so. The book is recommended.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death In A Quiet City, November 22, 2007
Gabriel Cohen's new novel, THE GRAVING DOCK, is as tense and exciting as RED HOOK, his terrific first novel featuring NYPD Detective Jack Leightner. From its opening image of a homemade coffin floating in New York Harbor to the final, life-or-death confrontation between Leightner and the principal villain in the eerie title setting, it will grip you with the sheer power of great storytelling.

The most fascinating aspect of this novel is its vivid recreation of New York City at a specific time--the strangely quiet weeks just after 9/11. Everyone who was here then will appreciate how well Cohen has captured the look and feel of the city, and it serves as a memorable background for the lone detective's search for justice. By any standard, THE GRAVING DOCK is an overwhelmingly powerful reading experience. On the list of current detective fiction, it is at the top. Highly recommended.
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The Graving Dock (Jack Leightner Crime Novels)
The Graving Dock (Jack Leightner Crime Novels) by Gabriel Cohen (Hardcover - November 13, 2007)
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