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on December 12, 2006
This book has it all- an historical perspective on the riots of Newark, a police officer conflicted by his feelings for the church and his family, a twisted, psychotic killer and a riveting mystery. The main character captivates you as you feel his pain while he wrestles with his internal conflicts throughout the story. You will not be able to put this book down.
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on December 23, 2006
So many books lately follow the same plotlines and just fill in their stories with different names. Ms Block brings a fresh story, plotline, and anti hero that is impossible to put down. I love books that tell you a story then leaves you with something to think about. I would love a sequel to this book. I want to know so much more about Detective Emmett and I want to go on more crime solving capers with him. This would make a great movie!
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on January 19, 2007
I just finished this was fantastic! The way Brett developed the killer in particular was masterful, he was so real to me...and creepy. She set each scene so well, you are always right there filled with suspense at what will happen next. An excellent book, such a treat to read.
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on November 6, 2006
In 1967 Newark, his boss does not trust rookie homicide cop Martin Emmett who he assumes is a quota appointment. His confidence in the newcomer is not made any better when Martin fails at his first case. He demeans Martin and hurts the youngster's already shaky confidence by exiling him to the records room.

However, racial tension in the Central Ward is high so when a mutilated corpse of a black teen who worked for the mob is found with a missing a finger, Martin gets a second chance to redeem himself as his boss needs to send a black man to investigate. As riots explode, Martin begins to find evidence that a serial killer is on the loose as a second battered body is found. However, racism, the brass, his peers, and the mob want him off the case even as the riots obfuscate supporting evidence.

THE LIGHTNING RILE is a terrific historical police procedural starring a likable protagonist who enjoys investigations though he detests what he often finds. The 1967 Newark backdrop makes for a superb locale as Brett Ellen Block describes scenes and real events so vividly the audience will feel transported in time. Beside the superior pictorial background ambience and the strong official inquiry, Martin makes this one of the better sub-genre entries of the year as he cares and does his best in spite of opposition from everywhere.

Harriet Klausner
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on May 3, 2007
This thriller entralled me from beginning to end. What also impressed me was the background authenticity. I went to college just outside of Newark, New Jersey, where this novel takes place during the race riots in the sixties. I remember the extreme tension in Newark during that time and the author nails it. Block develops great characters: the protagonist is a vulnerable, white police detective; the racist killer is one of the creepiest characters I have ever seen in fiction. The plot is original, the book gathers steam and cooks at the end. Conflict, greed, revenge--it's all here. Someone once said that, Man is Nature's sole mistake. Block shows us why.
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on October 27, 2006
This gripping thriller has everything: suspense, unforgettable characters, and the immediacy of a critical moment in history. Martin Emmett will live in your mind long after you've finished the book. Beautifully written. Highly recommended.
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on April 6, 2014
This was a pretty decent book. Kept me entertainted. Was kind of predictable. I like books that talk about other eras and this book did just that.
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