Shall We Not Revenge
Review: Detective Frank Hanley of Chicago's Lake Street Police Station is assigned to investigate the murder of a rabbi praying in his synagogue in Shall We Not Revenge, a stand-alone murder mystery by D. M. Pirrone.
It is January 1872, just three months after the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871. Rabbi Asher Kelmansky has been found murdered, struck over the head with a menorah. A second menorah and silver candlestick are missing. Hanley makes little progress on the case — the Jews, who attended the synagogue are reluctant to speak to him, an outsider — until the rabbi's determined and impetuous daughter, Revka, steps up to help. Their search for clues leads them to a relief organization that had been set up after the fire by city politicians to aid those who had lost their homes and belongings. The organization received goods from all over America, indeed from around the world, but was riddled with discrimination and corruption. Jews, for example, received very little from the organization … and yet many of the displaced Jews were seen with warm coats, food, and other necessities. It isn't long before Hanley and Revka uncover the connection, but exposing it would almost certainly come at a great cost to both of them.
Shall We Not Revenge paints a bleak picture of Chicago in the aftermath of the fire. Embers still burned and smoke still filled the air months later. That corruption was rampant isn't surprising to Hanley, but how open and brazen it was is. Hanley is a terrific lead character, honest, stubborn, and compassionate. The supporting cast are equally well drawn, from the dead rabbi's daughter Revka, her aunt and uncle, who want to see justice served but are concerned for their niece's involvement, to the leaders of Chicago's elite and its crime syndicate, who are sometimes one and the same. A strongly plotted and well-written mystery, it is recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Shall We Not Revenge.
Acknowledgment: the author provided a copy of Shall We Not Revenge for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
No Less in Blood
Five Star (Hardcover), March 2011
ISBN-13: 9781594149276; ISBN-10: 1594149275
Location(s) referenced in Shall We Not Revenge: Chicago, Illinois
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Shall We Not Revenge by D. M. Pirrone — A Murder Mystery
Publisher: Allium Press of Chicago
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: July 2014
List Price: $16.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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