Shooters & Chasers
A Bergman and Dunegan Novel by Lenny Kleinfeld
Review: Lenny Kleinfeld's debut suspense novel, Shooters & Chasers, is largely a police procedural that is interspersed with elements of a comic caper, legal thriller, and yes, a little romance. Regardless of how it's defined, though, it's a pleasure to read.
Chicago cops Mark Bergman and John "Doonie" Dunegan nab a suspect in the senseless murder of a local architect. But Emilio "Meelo" Garcia insists he didn't do it. He spins a far-fetched tale of events that led to his being in the motel where he was arrested. No one believes him, and the prosecutors not only have an open-and-shut high profile case, it's a political springboard for greater things to come. But Mark and Doonie go through the motions of checking Meelo's story out and one or two details turn out to be true. That leads them to continue the investigation until they're convinced the suspect's original wildly improbable story actually may be the truth. But who'd want to kill the architect, whose design is up for consideration as the new Los Angeles Fine Arts Museum? The answers lie in southern California where the two cops find competition among the rich and famous for recognition to be deadly.
For the most part, the plot in Shooters & Chasers evolves from the perspective of the two cops, Mark and Doonie. But virtually every major character, and there are more than a few, has a point of view in the story that's replete with intersecting subplots. It is a measure of how crisply written this book is that the reader can keep them all straight. And at over 400 pages, the book is fairly long, yet doesn't feel that way. Many scenes are written from different points of view, something that's typically hard to pull off without seeming repetitive but is done exceptionally well here. The murder scheme is comically convoluted; the assassins that pull it off know it is as well, but are counting on the cops and the prosecutors to believe no one would go to such extremes when a simple bullet to the head in a dark alley would have sufficed. The narrative occasionally makes tangential detours that don't really add any value to the story, and the ending, which has screenplay written all over it (so to speak), isn't nearly as polished as it could have been. Overall though, Shooters & Chasers is a cleverly developed mystery with compelling characters that is thoroughly entertaining.
Acknowledgment: Lenny Kleinfeld provided an ARC of Shooters & Chasers for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Some Dead Genius
Niaux-Noir Books (Trade Paperback), March 2014
ISBN-13: 9781496034366; ISBN-10: 1496034368
Location(s) referenced in Shooters & Chasers: Chicago, Los Angeles
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Shooters & Chasers by Lenny Kleinfeld — A Bergman and Dunegan Novel
Publisher: Five Star
Publication Date: January 2009
List Price: $25.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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