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Saving Room for Dessert Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892967633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892967636
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Where Constantine's earlier books (Grievance, etc.) followed the exploits of police chief Mario Balzic and detective Rugs Carlucci of the Rocksburg, Pa., police department, this one brilliantly shadows three beat cops: William Rayford, Robert Canoza and James Reseta. The events, trivial and wrenching, of one evening shift reveal an enormous amount about each man. Rayford, the only black man in the department, has been the smartest, fittest candidate for every job he's ever sought, but he couldn't protect his son from the idiocy of his mother-in-law, nor is he strong enough to free himself from his disdainful, distant wife. Canoza always forgets to wear his bulletproof vest maybe not a death wish, but surely some sort of ambiguity. He doesn't have a problem taking care of menacing bikers, but he does have a problem with little old ladies locked out of their cars. It doesn't help his image when he makes them cry. Reseta is still fighting the Vietcong and the bullies from his childhood. As a therapist describes it, Reseta walks around with a bomb in his head. He struggles daily to defuse it, using the wisdom of talk-show guests and whatever else he can. These three patrolmen travel the town in their mobile units, satellites moving slowly but surely across the darkened neighborhoods; at times their orbits cross. The threads of various plots are woven beautifully into this story, but clearly it's not about action, but about these men. The richness of detail, the thousand subtle touches of character, make their lives, their issues, absolutely riveting.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A ship filled with fugitives hoping to escape their past and prisoners destined for transportation to a distant colony runs afoul of pirates who take them to the massive floating city of Armada, where they can start their miserable lives anew. As fugitive Bellis Coldwine strives to come to terms with the sudden change in her existence, she becomes aware of a sinister agenda by Armada's leaders, plans that could not only endanger the lives of the Armadans but alter the nature of reality as well. The award-winning author of Perdido Street Station returns to the distinctive fantasy landscape of New Crobuzon to explore new corners of a world in which science and magic blend into a seamless and frightening form of metaphysics. Mi ville's hauntingly evocative style and masterful storytelling place this tale of exploration, mystery, and discovery at the top of the genre and make it a priority purchase. Highly recommended.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In Rocksburg, Pennsylvania, no police officer likes working the Flats, a dangerous part of the city that can go from a quiet neighborhood into a war zone in nanoseconds. Things may seem serene for the moment, but any veteran cop knows that in the Flats a moment is all it takes to get killed.

Working the Flats this evening are the Rocksburg Police Department's only African-American William Rayford, giant Robert "BooBoo" Canoza, and Nam vet James Reseta. Each has personal problems they bring to the job, but all three dedicated men know they must not allow their troubles to interfere with the beat if they want to live another day. Quickly the three officers are going to learn first hand how the Flats is different from any other neighborhood in town because the incident seems trivial, but the aftermath explosion proves dangerous and life threatening.

Once series fans understand that Mario is not making a comeback and Rugs is not the headliner, the readers will quickly comprehend that SAVING ROOM FOR DESSERT is a gourmet feast for the police procedural crowd. The story line follows the three officers on routine patrols that turns nasty. The story line focuses more on the trio than on what they face as each has their moment of introspection involving their personal woes as much as their professional troubles. K.C. Constantine changes direction with this tale in which the crime activity is interesting, but the up front look at the three stars is fascinating and fabulous.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lvkleydorff on August 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In a small town in Pennsylvania there is a small-town police department serving a small-town population. The main figure is Sargent William Milton Rayford, the only person of color within sight. We have James Resata, who went through his year in Viet Nam the hard way, and the gigantic Robert "Booboo" Canoza.
The play within the town of Rocksburg is also limited mostly to three neighboring families who are at each other throats almost daily. Once it is dog poop smeared on the neighbors door knob. Then it is threatening the neighbor with a knife.
The war in Nam is described in chilling detail. The neighborhood fights, however, develop into satire. That does not mean that they are not dangerous. But it means that the police officers have to summon all the accumulated wisdom of their many years on the force to keep the situations from exploding.
Mr. Constantine has everything under control.He gives us a picture - sometimes funny, and then brutally direct - of the cosmos of life in a small town. He has written a wonderful book that celebrates the simple cop on the beat.
To serve and protect - and they live by it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shnooky on July 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I admit that I'm a long-time fan of KC Constantine's Rocksburg novels. Saving Room for Dessert is a continuation of Constantine's usual strengths: pitch-perfect dialogue, REAL characters, indelible sense of time and place, subtle social commentary, etc. If you're looking for a police procedural in the vein of, say, Ed McBain or Wambaugh (both of whom are outstanding), you'll probably be disappointed. However, Constantine's work truly transcends the genre, and Saving Room is as wonderful as the rest of the Rocksburg novels.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Alpert on November 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've read every single one of 'em, all of Constantine's work, been following him all these years. I have to admit I miss Balzic and his wife, Marie. Rugs Carlucci succeeded Balzic as Rocksburg's Chief of Police, and those books were just as good. But those scenes with Mario and Mo Valcanas trading truths at Dom's - hard to beat.

Saving Room for Dessert somehow does it, it's the best to date. Somehow Constantine brings characters who were buried in the background all these years into the lead roles, and it's a fresh new look at the seemingly drab and monotonous life of Rocksburg, PA. How Constantine does it is simple - he's simply a masterful writer who has a keen ear for dialogue and is spot-on when it comes to understanding the human condition.

I'm not sure how this book reads not knowing about Rocksburg, or Balzic, Rugs, Valcanas, or any of these wonderful characters. My guess is that great writing is great writing, and Saving Room for Desset is the best of all.

Steve Alpert
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mak on April 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read tons of murder mysteries, many of which sprinkle in some tough language that I would never be caught using. I quit reading this after several pages. This was over the top, or perhaps 'under the gutter'.
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