Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cop Job by Chris Knopf

First Sentence: I got there just in time to see the crane hoist Alfie Aldergreen out of Hawk Pond.

Who would kill a wheelchair-bound, paranoid schizophrenic? Or is that all he was? Sometimes investigator for defense lawyer Jackie Swaitowski, Sam Acquillo is determined to find out. But things get complicated when there realize this is much more than a simple murder of one person, and that there are people involved at levels one wouldn’t expect.

A very good opening takes us immediately into the story, introduces a couple of the main characters and tells us why the protagonist happens to be on the scene. Even better; there’s nothing as good as an effective plot twist and one set at the beginning of the story is effective, indeed.

Knopf has an excellent storyteller’s voice. It’s easy, comfortable and humorous, although the sarcasm can feel rather heavy-handed toward the end. However, it’s his relationship with live-next-door lover Amanda, and his wonderful mutt Eddie Van Halen that makes Sam appealing, interesting and helps us realize there’s more to Sam than meets the eye. One appreciates that Knopf neither assumes readers have read nor remembers the details of the previous books in the series, but provides us with nuggets of background and information about the character as we go. …”More than anything, this was the musical score accompanying my life. I liked how it sounded, though I didn’t know exactly where it came from, or how long it would last. But who knows anything about good fortune, tight-lipped and capricious that it is.”

Knopf writes very good, natural dialogue. An attack on Sam’s daughter leads to a very effective and telling scene between Sam and his daughter’s boyfriend, Nathan.

The plot is good, but does slow down at points, making the reader wish he'd get on with it. However, as one who knows that part of Long Island, it can be appreciated that Chris depicts the Long Island of the everyday people, rather than focusing on the wealthy and famous.

Cop Job” is a well done, character-driven mystery with a very good ending.

COP JOB (Lic Inv-Sam Acquillo-New York-Contemp-G+
Knopf, Chris – 6th in series
The Permanent Press – Sept 2015

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