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Dancer in the Flames Hardcover – February 1, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Detective Irwin Boots Littlefield, of Brooklyn’s 64th Precinct, has a certain moral code. He may occasionally keep ill-gotten gains found in an investigation, but he won’t let an innocent man go down for murder. Assigned to a task force to find Police Captain Chris Parker’s killer, Boots is partnered with Crazy Jill Kelly, so-called for her quick temper and deadly aim, the daughter of a murdered cop and niece of the chief of detectives. When Boots ferrets out habitual car thief Vinnie Palermo, who witnessed Parker’s death while hijacking a Nissan, the brass charge Palermo with murder. But Boots doesn’t buy it, losing friends on the force and paying dearly as he searches for the actual killer, a process that uncovers an atmosphere of corruption and a cache of dirty cops. Solomita’s trademark brisk dialogue and relentless pace shine here, but his primary characters fall a little flat: Boots lacks appeal, despite being described as universally well liked, and his relationship with Jill seldom goes beyond heated sexual encounters, despite allegations to the contrary. Accomplished hard-boiled crime a little short on character development. --Michele Leber

Review

“An accomplished hard-boiled crime” (Booklist)

“Solomita seasons his tale with grit and gristle. . . dark, satisfying crime novel.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727882287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727882288
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By James Weikart on January 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
How does Solomita get away with never hitting a Best Seller list! When this book starts out the action is so fast it's like a short story. Then, boom! Suddenly its full drawn people with depth and background and places to go besides a quick end. Solomita's Brooklyn-backwater detective, Boots, quits smoking and fines himself getting into closed cars with smoking cops to get a second-hand hit. Fellow cop Crazy Jill Kelly smokes like a fiend--among many things she does like a fiend. You can imagine the rest, but you won't have to, and Solomita's imagination is better than yours--fathers, daughters, bent cops and Boots takes offense. (That's not to say he doesn't have his own ethical world different from yours and mine.) It's good stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is as much a family drama as it is a murder mystery and thriller. The main focus of the story is a New York City detective, Boots Littlewood. He's a people person, skilled in using his resources to find the suspects he needs to interview. He also has a good relationship with his father, who is planning to remarry, and with his son, a college student skilled in computer analysis.

The author is a former cab driver in New York and his knowledge and descriptions of the streets of Brooklyn, New York and surroundings is right on.

There have been a number of murders involving New York City cops, one was on the job investigating the Lipstick murderer, another was a captain who thought he was invincible.

Boots investigates these murders and, when one of his sources is arrested for one of the murders, Boots knows there is coverup going on and he feels he has to take actions to prove his man isn't guilty of murder.

An interesting sideline is Boots and gambling. He enjoys the New York Yankees and is constantly betting small amounts on their games. His bookie is a friend who also gets involved in a crime.

I read this book in a couple of days and enjoyed every minute of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like Elmore Leonard you'll love Stephen Solomita, one of today's most neglected writers. (I'm not the only one who thinks so, Otto Penzler, who knows a thing or two about mysteries has said it, too.) Dancer in the Flames is one of Solomita's best books, and that's saying something. His characters are believble, plots original, and what's more there's a great sense of humor. Solomita knows his New York and the people who live there like no other I've read. There's nothing cut and dried about Solomita's characters, just when you think you've got things figured out, there's a switch, and someone's doing something else, completely logical. Be prepared...he'll keep you reading into the early morning hours.

I urge you to read this book, and his others as well. Maybe some day soon someone in TV or the film business will get smart and realize that there's a goldmine here.
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