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Londongrad: An Artie Cohen Mystery (Artie Cohen Mysteries) Hardcover – June 23, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A chance encounter leads Artie Cohen to a disturbing Brooklyn crime scene in Nadelson's outstanding eighth novel to feature the New York City police detective and son of a former KGB officer (after 2007's Fresh Kills): a woman has been wrapped in duct tape and tied to a playground swing. Artie calls the murder in, but his attempts to remain uninvolved in the ensuing probe are futile. The more Artie learns about the victim, Masha Panchuk, the more he suspects that she was not the killer's intended target, and that his love, Valentina Sverdloff, daughter of his best friend, Tolya, was. When someone smothers Valentina to death, Artie must travel to London to break the tragic news to Tolya, a shady entrepreneur whose business activities straddle the line between legitimate and illegitimate.Â As the dark, compelling plot gathers momentum, Artie, a principled, street-smart guy with very human failings, launches his own quest for justice. (July)
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New York police detective and Russian immigrant Artie Cohen is looking forward to a week’s vacation (crime-novel heroes should know better than to take vacations) when he agrees to deliver some books to an aging fellow Russian living near Brighton Beach. On the way, he finds a dead body wrapped in silver duct tape from head to foot, a signal from the Russian mob to keep your mouth shut. Quickly, the trail leads to Artie’s best friend, nightclub owner and possible gangster Tolya Sverdloff, and his daughter, Valentina, with whom Artie, despite a 20-year age difference, is in love. As the pace quickens and the body count mounts, Nadelson follows the money (and, in the new world of Russian full-frontal capitalism, there is still plenty of it) from Manhattan to London to Moscow. There is an almost surreal fury to the action in an Artie Cohen novel, and if the narrative voice seems to falter now and again, such infelicities of style are quickly forgotten as one’s pulse rate accelerates. Best of all, though, is the neon-bright portrait Nadelson paints of the new Russia, awash in sleaze and dirty money. --Bill Ott
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I THINK IT COULD BE TURNED INTO A TV MOVIE.I WOULD CAST VIGGO MORTENSON AS THE LEAD.
INTERESTING CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK SERIES WITH VIVID BROOKLY N.Y. LOCALES.
Cohen is a hard-drinking, no-nonsense New York cop who also happens to be a first generation Russian-American. His life is tangled with enough unsavory types to provide ample color and grist, and in this instance, it sucks him into the world of Russian oligarchs, FBI investigations and FSB?in trigues. The catalyst is the murder of two young women, one of whom is his lover, Valentina, who also happens to be his best friend's daughter.
Splicing in bits of current events, most notably the radioactive murder of Alexander Litvinenko, Nadelson fashions a timely tale of crossed loyalties and international conspiracies that should serve many well as a guilty summer pleasure. (As reviewed in Russian Life)