From Publishers Weekly
Billed as a hard-boiled detective novel, this mystery debut ambitiously attempts to recall pulp fiction of the '30s and '40s. Coleman shows skill in creating the salty, quick-witted dialogue that readers expect from this genre, giving the best lines to a wisecracking bush-league insurance investigator, Dylan Klein. We're introduced to Klein at his mother's funeral, which he leaves in disgust in order to take a sentimental trip back to his old neighborhood of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. There he meets Alexander Korin, a small, elusive Russian. With little explanation, Korin hires Klein to track down a man named Mikhail Brodsky, whose life he supposedly saved during WW II. Coleman hooks the reader immediately with the surprise shooting of Korin, during which Klein is knocked out by a gun butt. When he awakens to find a headless corpse, Klein becomes embroiled in an extremely complicated plot involving a threatening mystery man who uses the phone to orchestrate Klein's treacherous endeavor to find Brodsky. Coleman gets in over his head by throwing in too many plot twists regarding German-Russian relations, and the cliched introduction of a seductive woman posing as Korin's daughter typifies a tendency toward sensationalism that undermines an otherwise compelling story.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Coleman's somewhat awkward, frequently overwritten first mystery has a hero whose appeal almost overcomes its highly improbable plot. Whether he is worrying about his beloved New York Mets or commenting perceptively on matters as mundane as pancakes (``your memory of them is always better than your bloated belly's reality''), hapless insurance-investigator Dylan Klein seems closer to reality than most tough-guy protagonists. Klein is asked by an old Russian migr to track down a man in a faded WW II photograph. Thereafter, he is immediately knocked unconscious, awakening to a headless corpse and threatening telephone calls from an enemy who seems always to be in the right place to fire a bullet through the window or to know everything Klein does. But why does this seeming killer want Klein to find the same man his apparently dead client did? And is the beautiful woman who claims to be the client's daughter for real? Our hero and his ex-NYPD police detective friend Johnny MacClough try to figure it all out, exposing an unlikely political tangle involving the National Security Agency and Russian and Israeli agents. It all ends with a real surprise. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.