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Old Flame: A Jackson Steeg Novel Paperback – December 30, 2008


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Old Flame: A Jackson Steeg Novel + Sinners' Ball: A Jackson Steeg Novel + Family Matters (Jackson Steeg Mysteries)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Jackson Steeg Novel
  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307408620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307408624
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,688,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ex-NYPD homicide cop Jackson Jake Steeg, who took a bullet in Family Matters (2006), can't get away from his Hell's Kitchen heritage in Berkowitz's violent and entertaining sequel. Jake's hateful ex-mother-in-law, Jeanmarie Doyle, wants him to help his ex, Ginny, and her new husband, Tony Ferris, who are getting death threats. A reluctant Jake can't avoid getting involved after Tony is brutally murdered. A recovering alcoholic with one good lung, Jake can still mix it up with the tough guys and is quick to do so. The busy plot finds him dealing with corrupt cops and politicians, skinheads, an Israeli gangster and other creeps. Deftly rendering such New York City neighborhoods as Alphabet City and Brighton Beach (Little Odessa), Berkowitz keeps the dialogue rough, the action fast and the characterization thin but sharp as Jake steers his way through the myriad traps thrown in his way. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Former NYPD detective Jackson Steeg, mostly recovered from a bullet wound, is now retired and pensioned, but his demons remain—the ever-present snakes in his head that variously roil, dance, and riot according to circumstances. And the circumstances include his failed marriage, his ongoing battle to keep from drinking, and a host of near-tribal loyalties and enmities that spring from his Hell’s Kitchen upbringing. So, when his poisonous former mother-in-law demands that he find and kill the persons threatening his ex-wife’s husband, the snakes prepare to dance. In short order, the husband is brutally murdered, and Steeg finds himself poking his nose into big-money Manhattan real estate development and the affairs of a wheeler-dealer city councilman, his former NYPD partner, and an Israeli crime boss who frightens even the Russian Mob. Steeg and a half dozen other characters are memorable creations, and the dialogue is clever and gritty. Best, though, is the portrait of Hell’s Kitchen and its denizens, who predate gentrification. Old Flame is a tightly written, deftly plotted gem of crime fiction. --Thomas Gaughan

More About the Author

Ira Berkowitz is the author of the Jackson Steeg Mystery Series. His crime fiction novel Sinners' Ball won the Shamus Award in 2010.

He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Writing fiction was the furthest thing from his mind.

He attended New York University, fully expecting to attend Medical School upon graduation. Instead, he wound up in law school. After enduring two years studying torts, contracts, corporate, real estate, and other legal matters - try curling up with the laws of riparian rights on a cold winter night - he decided there had to be a more interesting way to earn a living. And, with only one more year to go, he quit. Now he was really at odds and ends. No career. No job. And no prospects.

Enter his wife - then fiancee - the very wise, Phyllis.

How about advertising, she suggested. He patiently explained he had absolutely no artistic ability, wasn't trained in snappy headline writing, and had never taken a business or marketing course. A career as an ice-road trucker would make more sense. But the more he thought about it, the more alluring her suggestion. Client lunches with Captains of Industry. TV commercial shoots at exotic locations. Expense account. The mad, Mad Avenue whirl! And a big salary to boot! So he went for it, and managed to land a job paying a hundred dollars a week. And found that he loved the business. Thirty years later he retired and realized how lucky he was. There wasn't a day he didn't enjoy going to work.


After several months of doing absolutely nothing and hating it, Ira's wife asked how he planned to keep busy. With a blank stare for a response she suggested he try writing fiction. Once again he patiently explained that he had never taken a creative writing course - and didn't plan to. And, he reminded her, marketing plans were the only pieces of fiction he had ever written. She reminded him of the "advertising" conversation they had had thirty years earlier. It did the trick.

Ira's first effort at fiction garnered fifty rejections. But a few were encouraging, so he kept at it. His second effort, FAMILY MATTERS, the first book in the Jackson Steeg Mystery Series, was published in 2006 and won the Washington Irving Award for literary merit. And he repeated with OLD FLAME, published in 2008. SINNERS' BALL, the third book in the series, won the Shamus Award for Best Crime Fiction Novel Of The Year. The fourth novel in the series, BLACK ANGEL has just been published.I

Ira is writing full time and considers himself lucky. There isn't a day he doesn't look forward to going to work.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur R. Pell on February 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I finished reading "Family Matters," Berkowitz's first Jackson Steeg novel, I was intrigued by this off-beat detective and looked forward to reading more books about him. "Old Flame" did not disappoint. Berkowitz's skillfully crafted portrayals of the key characters in the book brought each of them to life and put the reader into the heart of the story. "Old Flame" is a page turner. I recommend it not only to detective story aficionados, but to all those who appreciate reading a well-written novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Guariglia on February 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ira Berkowitz has written a thriller about New York. And like the City itself , it's got everything- the good , the bad, the ugly, the commotion, the good guys, the bad guys- and of course,lots of cops. If you like the texture, the anger. the action, the chaos, the complication, and the passion of the great city then Old Flame is a must read. I could not put it down
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil S. Plakcy on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just couldn't put this book down once I started it. Ira Berkowitz has written this great voice-- a real New York character, yet not a caricature at all. The plot was clever and the setting realistic, but what really kept me staying up late and turning the pages was this character's voice. Can't wait to read Berkowitz's first book.

Neil Plakcy, author of Mahu: A Hawai'ian Mystery (A Kimo Kanapa Mystery)
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Format: Paperback
The charaction is on par w/the best, not only the characters themselves, but in the characterization of the city & it's politics - corrupt, and if that isn't par for course in this new guilded age America - your rose tinted glasses need replaced.
The author's style had me smiling as if he were tickling the words right out of my mouth/You mean the hand of God? No. God and I have been on the outs for a long time now/Why is that?/Look around. If he truly exists, He should get on his knees and beg our forgiveness. Each and everyone of us. If were all His children, that makes Him the adult, and He should know better.
The author's, tell it like it characters, speed toward each other like straight shooting bullets. The real surprise is that when they collide it turns into bittersweet ironic twist representing the unfathomable nature of the universe/... And if you want to make the universe laugh, make a plan.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!!!!!
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