- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Avon (April 6, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380793490
- ISBN-13: 978-0380793495
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,988,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Criminalist Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 1999
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The saddest thing about Eugene Izzi's last book, completed just before his bizarre death by hanging in 1996, is that it could very well have been the start of a very successful series--just what this talented crime writer needed to get his career back on track after some false moves and setbacks.
Dominick DiGrazia, the criminalist of the title, is a fascinating, gifted Chicago homicide detective who has carefully avoided the promotions that would remove him from the actual work of investigating crimes. He has trouble keeping his explosive anger in check as less-qualified superiors try to misuse or take advantage of his expertise; his thorny personality and high standards also mark him as a loner. But when a pregnant young prostitute is murdered and savagely butchered on the 20th anniversary of another similarly horrible killing, DiGrazia asks Janice Constantine--a tough street cop in her 50s--to become his partner. It's a smart choice for him and a pleasure for readers: Constantine is a wonderfully real, totally unglamorous character with raspy edges that help keep DiGrazia honest.
Suspects in the new murder include Dr. Tom Moran, the psychiatrist whose pregnant wife was the first victim two decades before; Dr. Moran's cop brother, Terry Moran, whose career is frozen by rumors of his own involvement in that case; and Mike Schmidt, DiGrazia's former partner, obsessed to the point of alcoholism and insanity by the earlier case. And, as in Izzi's earlier books, Chicago in its many mean and meaty guises plays a major role in this final effort. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Everything that made the late Izzi (A Matter of Honor, 1997; Tribal Secrets, 1992) a spellbinding crime writer is present in this harrowing swan song of a novel. Unfortunately, all the minor narrative irritants that prevented the author from reaching bestseller status are also in evidence. As is usual in an Izzi caper, there are good and bad cops, extensive reflectiveness, little humor evident in the prose or in the characters, and a rollercoaster of a tale that comes close to sweeping all such critical quibbles aside. In the 20 years since Nancy Moran was brutally murdered, her doctor husband Tom has remarried; his brother Terry, who was a suspect, is a psychotic beat cop no one wants to work with; another brother, Frank, is a homeless drunk and also a witness to a new murder and mutilation that very closely resembles Nancy's. Both deaths were horrible, and both threaten to destroy the Moran family. Dominick DiGrazia is the good cop assigned the case, with his new partner, Janice Constantine; Mike Schmidt is the retired burnout and former partner of DiGrazia who was certain that Tom was Nancy's killer. In the psychiatric clinic that Tom Moran directs, a killer named Eddie wanders into a nightly group therapy meeting; his contributions to the discussion increase the suspense quotient. Izzi barrels through the narrative with his usual panache?the scattergun dialogue revealing an unflinching vision of lives twisted by abuse. There are a few too many loose ends and an excess of psychobabble, but with this tale, Izzi departs the crime fiction scene as raw, as flawed and as galvanizing a writer as he entered it 17 books ago.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The three Moran brothers have all been damaged by their abusive family background, and all were suspects in the horrific murder of Tom Moran's first wife, twenty years ago. When a virtually identical murder of a prostitute occurs on the twentieth anniversary of the first murder, the Moran brothers are all suspects once again.
Tom, precariously remarried has established a psychiatric practice. His brother, Terry is an alcoholic policeman whose career never rebounded after he was suspected of the previous murder, and Frank Moran has drifted into homelessness, alcoholism, and mental illness. Tom's wife, Ellen has just learned that she is pregnant when her world is nearly destroyed by the implication that her husband, and perhaps his two brothers have committed murder.
The Criminalist of the title is Detective Dominic DiGrazia, and he and his selected partner Janice Constantine, are the bright lights of this book. Both are unique and involving characters, and make an intriguing team. It is a pity that Eugene Izzi committed suicide before their evolution into a fine pair of protagonists for a series.
By the end of THE CRIMINALIST, the latest murder and its perpetrator are laid to rest, however, the earlier murder of Tom's wife is an open question. I wish both cases had been brought to some sort of satisfactory conclusion. However there are not always tidy endings in life, and to assume that the Moran brothers would be healed by any solution would be an unrealistic resolution.
THE CRIMINALIST presents a good mystery, strong protagonists, and involving characters; however, I cannot rate it in the same class as John Sandford's Lucas Davenport mysteries. If you like suspense, it will do until Sandford's latest is published.