Hell’s Kitchen Homicide-Charles Kipp

Hell’s Kitchen Homicide

Charles Kipp

Scribner, Sep 15 2009,

ISBN: 9781439127902

The corpse is found in Hell’s Kitchen overlooking the Hudson.  NYPD Detectives Conor Bard and Ralph Kurtz have the lead though the latter is retiring in a week.  The corpse is criminal defense attorney Walter Lawton with mob ties, who has freed many obvious felons from incarceration.

The obvious prime suspect is the victim’s wife Holly who will inherit millions.  The cops learn her lover is a professional hit man running a Brooklyn kennel Salvatore Zeffel and they fish the murder weapon a 22 out of the river; Sal’s choice of guns.  The case takes several spins with almost all having an Albanian connection, but none quite making sense.  Adding to Bard’s confusion is four women in his life: his boss who never leaves the station; his former lover who is seeing jealous Captain Reynolds; Holly who calls him all the time, and Albanian visitor Monica who he calls.  He is attracted to the latter two while he wants Reynolds off his back as the case seems to go nowhere.

This is a terrific New York police procedural as nothing is quite what it seems.  The banter between the partners is fun and Conor’s female problems add depth to him, but it is the whodunit that makes this an entertaining tale.  Every clue leads to the Albanian community in the Bronx, but every step forward also leads to a seemingly dead end.  Sub-genre fans will enjoy this fast-paced thriller as the streets of Manhattan seem dirtier than usual.

Harriet Klausner

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