Blue Eyes by Jerome Charyn
Before Isaac Sidel adopts him, Manfred Coen is a mutt. A kid from the Bronx, he joins the police academy after his father’s suicide leaves him directionless, and is trudging along like any other cadet when first deputy Sidel, the commissioner’s right hand man, comes looking for a young cop with blue eyes to infiltrate a ring of Polish smugglers. He chooses Coen, and asks the cadet to join his department after he finishes the academy. Working under Sidel means fast promotions, plush assignments, and, when a corruption scandal topples his mentor, the resentment of every rank-and-file detective on the force.
Now just an ordinary cop, Coen hears word that his old mentor has a line on a human trafficking operation. When Sidel’s attempt at infiltration fails, he sends in Coen. For Coen, it’s a shot to prove himself and redeem his mentor, but it could cost the blue-eyed cop his life.
Remember those pulpy detective novels with those outrageous covers that are probably not PC but you like them anyway because they suit the book and they’re just eye catching? that’s what I felt when I started reading this book. It’s a vintage setting, which is nice to see (hard to get used to!) but it was interesting. The language and terminology is definitely from the 70’s. You won’t find any politically correct words here. It’s gritty, dirty, but entertaining to read.
The plot was pretty good, lots of twists and turns that may be a bit difficult to read. There’s quite a bit of things to keep track of, characters to figure out (some go by their names, some go by their nicknames), so it can be a bit of a task to read who is who, and what their purpose is in this story. So, sometimes it can be rather difficult and confusing to go through the book. The writing style is all right, again, I have to say, hard to follow at times.
There’s an interesting mixture of different type of characters, each with their own quirks and habits. Some stood out for me, and I was attached to them, others not so much and I wasn’t sure what they were there for. Nevertheless because of these interesting and unique characters, reading this was enjoyable.
Fans of classic noir fiction, or classic detective novels will like this one. I thought it was all right and worth the read. I was blindsided a couple of times which is what you need to fully enjoy detective novels like these. Worth the read, and worth the time spent.
I give it a 6 out of 10.
Thank you Tribute Books for letting me participate in this tour!
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