Former L.A. Times crime reporter Corwin (Homicide Special: A Year with the LAPD's Elite Detective Unit) introduces an engaging Jewish police detective in his first novel, a grittily realistic story of murder, stupidity, and redemption. Ash Levine, the LAPD's top detective, resigns after his suspension for failing to prevent the death of a key witness he was supposed to protect. A year later, Ash's former boss invites him to lead the investigation into an ex-cop's murder. Levine returns to the force, hoping to reopen the case that cost him his job, though not everyone in the department is thrilled to see him back. A jazz lover (hence the Miles Davis–inspired title), the son of a concentration camp survivor, and a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, Ash battles through departmental interference, corruption, and misdirection. Given his strong debut, Ash should be back on the job for further assignments. (Nov.) (c)
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*Starred Review* Eleven months after he leaves the LAPD, Ash Levine, formerly the top detective in the elite Felony Squad, is lured back to solve the murder of ex-cop Pete Relovich, which interests department brass because the victim also was the son of a cop. But Levine is motivated by the opportunity to return to another case, the one that led to his suspension and ultimate resignation and that still haunts him: the murder of his witness, Latisha Patton, whom he was unable to protect. Levine is a dogged, intuitive detective who doesn’t rest when details don’t make sense, but there’s more to him than his work. He’s a man with a stereotypical Jewish mother who’s susceptible to women he meets in his investigations; he has flashbacks to his combat with the Israeli Defense Force in Lebanon; and he is soothed by Miles Davis’ jazz (hence the allusion in the novel’s title). Former LA Times crime reporter Corwin, whose unfettered access to LAPD units provided the material for such nonfiction work as Homicide Special (2003), clearly knows the technical stuff. His procedural details are spot-on, but he also knows how to generate adrenaline-producing action, and he gets into the very heart and soul of his multifaceted protagonist. This fine first novel marks the arrival of a strong new voice in hard-boiled crime fiction. --Michele LeberSee all Editorial Reviews
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