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The Ninth Step: A Jack Leightner Crime Novel (Jack Leightner Crime Novels) Hardcover – May 25, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Jack Leightner Crime Novels (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312625014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312625016
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,944,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A family tragedy comes back to haunt Jack Leightner in Cohen's less than inspired fourth crime novel featuring the Brooklyn homicide detective (after 2009's Neptune Avenue). In 1965, Jack watched as his 13-year-old brother, Petey, was stabbed to death by an older black teenager, who had demanded that they hand over a case of liquor. Four decades later, the killer, Darnel Teague Jr., who was never caught, shows up at Leightner's front door and confesses to the crime as part of his recovery from alcohol abuse. Darnel further upends the policeman's world by adding that an Italian-American man, a stranger whose name Darnel never learned, hired him to teach the Leightner brothers a lesson. A fresh case—a bludgeoning murder in a deli apparently committed by a terrorist—distracts Jack from trying to identify the man out to get him and Petey back in '65. The truth behind the fatal mugging may strike some readers as a letdown. (June)
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Review

"Fast action and multiple plot lines make this fourth Jack Leightner mystery (after Neptune Avenue) an engrossing read, but don’t get too comfortable because Cohen is a master at misdirection. Not quite as dark as Reggie Nadelson and a bit more dramatic than Norman Green, Cohen captures Brooklyn and its people in this tale of then and now."--Library Journal (starred review)

"In a spellbinding return, Brooklyn homicide detective Jack Leightner investigates a murder in the family....Deftly plotted and convincingly written. Cohen...once more does the genre proud."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Cohen’s latest Jack Leightner novel might be the best so far. The borough of Brooklyn shines as brightly as the conflicted, haunted lead character, standing in for the world at large. Cohen tells a gripping story of guilt and revenge, terrorist threats and neighborhood ties and throws in a little-known historical event for good measure. Riveting!"--RT Bookreviews (4 1/2 stars)



In a spellbinding return, Brooklyn homicide detective Jack Leightner investigates a murder in the family.At 13, Petey Leightner was universally liked, a kid so profoundly sunny that his deeply dysfunctional family stayed together to bask in his aura. Petey was therapeutic. Not so his 15-year-old brother. Jack's nature was more complicated and much darker, even before that shocking day in 1965 when Petey was stabbed to death while Jack stood by, helpless to prevent his killing and guilt-ridden ever since. Now, years later, NYPD Detective First Grade Jack Leightner, Brooklyn Homicide South, learns from an absolutely reliable source that his brother's murder was not the random act of urban violence he'd always assumed. Instead, it had been ordered by the mob. Bizarre, right? Thirteen-year-old kids, especially kids like Petey, do not earn the enmity of the Mafia--unless the hit was a message. In that case, though, meant for whom? Jack won't sleep nights until he gets his answers, and Petey (Kirkus Reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gloria Feit VINE VOICE on July 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In his fourth book in the series, author Gabriel Cohen brings back Jack Leightner, a fifteen-year veteran of the NYPD's Brooklyn South Homicide Task Force. Jack is called in to investigate a homicide, an apparently random murder of one man by another in a small deli, although he is quickly preempted by an agent with Homeland Security, who tells him he is taking over Jack's case. And what initially appeared to be "another rinky-dink slaying, like a thousand others," very soon turns out to have far more sinister aspects.

The second story line has to do with an incident in the more distant past, 1965 to be exact, when Jack's 13-year-old brother, two years his junior, was killed in a senseless street incident by a young black teen, two feet from where Jack was standing. Jack has been guilt-ridden over all of the intervening decades. As the book opens, Jack finds a stranger at his door, following the directives known to most readers as the Twelve-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, who is there to follow the eponymous Ninth Step: to make amends, as he tells Jack that it was he who killed his brother. In the conversation that follows, he makes it clear that he was hired for the purpose by a white man, whose name he never knew.

The action takes place in 2005, and the events of September 2001 are still very much on the minds of all New Yorkers and those entrusted with their safety.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of mysteries, especially those in series where the reader can get to know the characters. I read the first book of this series as a free book and loved it. I quickly purchased the next three. These books are more than mysteries. The main character is very well developed, and the books are character studies as well as thrillers. Although the mystery is solved at the end of each book, the pieces of the main character's life aren't tied up neatly, and the reader is left wanting to know more. This was #4 and the last one, and I'm wishing for more.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dormilona on March 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The breadth of Gabriel Cohen's vision and understanding lifts this extraordinary crime novel far out of its genre. It's powerful, haunting, hard to put down, and emotionally satisfying throughout. And without ever being strident or self-righteous, it's also a modest, but unsparing, call to America's conscience.
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