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Kind of Blue: An Ash Levine Thriller Hardcover – November 1, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Ash Levine Thriller Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former L.A. Times crime reporter Corwin (Homicide Special: A Year with the LAPD's Elite Detective Unit) introduces an engaging Jewish police detective in his first novel, a grittily realistic story of murder, stupidity, and redemption. Ash Levine, the LAPD's top detective, resigns after his suspension for failing to prevent the death of a key witness he was supposed to protect. A year later, Ash's former boss invites him to lead the investigation into an ex-cop's murder. Levine returns to the force, hoping to reopen the case that cost him his job, though not everyone in the department is thrilled to see him back. A jazz lover (hence the Miles Davis–inspired title), the son of a concentration camp survivor, and a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, Ash battles through departmental interference, corruption, and misdirection. Given his strong debut, Ash should be back on the job for further assignments. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Eleven months after he leaves the LAPD, Ash Levine, formerly the top detective in the elite Felony Squad, is lured back to solve the murder of ex-cop Pete Relovich, which interests department brass because the victim also was the son of a cop. But Levine is motivated by the opportunity to return to another case, the one that led to his suspension and ultimate resignation and that still haunts him: the murder of his witness, Latisha Patton, whom he was unable to protect. Levine is a dogged, intuitive detective who doesn’t rest when details don’t make sense, but there’s more to him than his work. He’s a man with a stereotypical Jewish mother who’s susceptible to women he meets in his investigations; he has flashbacks to his combat with the Israeli Defense Force in Lebanon; and he is soothed by Miles Davis’ jazz (hence the allusion in the novel’s title). Former LA Times crime reporter Corwin, whose unfettered access to LAPD units provided the material for such nonfiction work as Homicide Special (2003), clearly knows the technical stuff. His procedural details are spot-on, but he also knows how to generate adrenaline-producing action, and he gets into the very heart and soul of his multifaceted protagonist. This fine first novel marks the arrival of a strong new voice in hard-boiled crime fiction. --Michele Leber

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Product Details

  • Series: Ash Levine Thriller (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608090078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608090075
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on November 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Kind of Blue" in the kind of book you hope to run across when exploring new authors.

A retired cop is found murdered. The LAPD supervisor in charge of the case decides to bring in another ex-cop, Ash Levine, who "retired" as the result of a dispute over the way he handled a previous case, to head up the investigation. As Levine delves into the investigation, his own emotional demons are stirred up, but he perseveres as the investigation leads him into discoveries of police corruption and confrontations with ghetto street gangs.

On its surface, this is a pretty straightforward police procedural, but it sneakily grabbed me and wouldn't let go. There's never a dull moment. I found Levine to be a fully-realized character, with the appropriate strengths and flaws. Throughout this book, the characters were three-dimensional, distinct and recognizeable. The plotting was well done, tight and brisk.

When it seemed we were reaching the conclusion of the case, I noticed there were still quite a few pages to go. Sure enough, another wrinkle popped up, and the ride continued!

If this is the start of a series by Corwin, I'm looking forward to the next entry. A solid four stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to be oh-so-articulate in my review of this book, but I am still sputtering a bit since finishing it. I suggested it for my book club -- seems out of the chick novel genre certainly, but with the blues references and the teaser about dealing with the Holocaust in his family background and the inclusion of his Jewish mother as a major player, I thought it would appeal to my other members' tastes, but still give me the action/adventure/detective book that I personally prefer.
I have to face my book club tonight and I'm still trying to form a sufficient apology. Several problems, among them: Corwin doesn't trust us to have a brain. He gives us information -- almost a heads-up -- then writes about it. Contrast that with the fact that the second mystery at least is solved with surprises we weren't even introduced to until his confrontation (didn't trust us with THAT information). Next: we now know much, much, much about the flora of the neighborhoods Levine visited for his many, many suspect/witness questionings. We had much time to read about it, because for several of those questionings, that's all we got -- how it looked, how the stairs looked, how the "wit" looked, then -- SLAM! Nothing. Back to the car.
We also know much about the various ethnic restaurants and foods Levine is fond of. Way too much. And, as one review has already stated, we know WAY too much about Levine's unexpected love for surfing. For so many scenes, I'd find myself reading carefully, the detail teasing me that something big was about to happen, only to be confused and disappointed that there was nothing more to that restaurant visit than simply getting lunch.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an intense book, full of loud, rowdy and skillful storytelling.

After a well-known former policeman is killed in Los Angeles the department is under pressure to find the culprit. Lieutenant Frank Duffy wants his best man on the case. The problem is that his best man, Ash Levine, quit the force a year ago. Ash was a stubborn detective, extremely observant and unable to let go until he could find the answers to his cases. Ash retired from the force after a witness in a homicide, Latisha Patton, was killed. He is destroyed with guilt because of this, thinking that he caused Latisha's death. He is asked by Lt. Duffy to come back to the squad to find the killer of the officer, Pete Relovich, who was killed in an apparent breaking and entering at his home. Ash decides to come back so he can work the case and also look for the person or persons that murdered his witness. Of course, many members of the squad are not about to welcome him back as they did not like him in the first place. Ash is the son of a concentration camp survivor and also a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces so, there is a bit of interference and corruption from the department. Which only goes to make the story better.

Ash goes into the investigation on a dead run to search and inquire into the ex-cops murder. This case takes him into the unpleasant and sordid side of Southern California, including the escort services of Hollywood to the expensive and over-the-top art galleries in the Hollywood Hills. But, when he has a person of interest in custody, it doesn't seem right with Ash and he goes on to investigate more leads into the Relovich murder while silently looking for leads in Latisha's murder.
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Format: Hardcover
Ash Levine had quit his detective position in the LA police department because he was suspended from the force when one of his informants was killed. About a year later his boss who had suspended him asks Ash to come back and solve a recent homicide of a retired police officer. Ash thinks it is about time he came back to work and it would give him a chance to find out who killed his informant.

Ash is a relentless pursuer and very methodical in the way he approaches the case. His style is a lot like Harry Bosch (from author Michael Connelly). He is also very close to his family and attends Shabbos dinner at his mother's house every Friday. As Ash digs deeper into the case it appears that there are "dirty" police involved. The author does a good job of making it difficult to figure out who on the force is corrupt so you never know when Ash may be tipping off the bad guys as to what he is doing.

I liked this book and think Ash has the potential to have some really good future books. I didn't give this book more than three stars because most of the book is told in first person, which spoiled any tension during the times when it seemed Ash could be killed. Secondly there seems to be too many "bad" cops involved in coverups. Lastly, there is a romantic interest with a weird art dealer that seems to add nothing to the plotline.
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