Retribution by Stuart M. Kaminsky

Stuart Kaminsky writes several popular series including those featuring Lew Fonesca, Abraham Lieberman, Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, and Toby Peters. He has also written two original Rockford Files novels

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Retribution by Stuart M. Kaminsky


Features

  • Mass Market Paperback: 248 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.70 x 6.40 x 4.80
  • Publisher: Forge; (December 2002)
  • ISBN: 0812540360


    Reader Reviews
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful: Girl On The Run, October 4, 2002 Reviewer: Mel Odom from Moore, OK USA Five years ago, Lew Fonesca lost his wife Catherine in a terrible auto accident. The event all but ended his life. Lost and dead inside, he drove to Sarasota, Florida because there was really no other place to go. When the car died in front of a Dairy Queen, he stopped. But he didn't start living again. Instead, he started building himself a cocoon that isolated him from the rest of the world. Trained as an investigator for the state's attorney office in Cook County, Fonesca sets up shop as a process server, establishing just enough money to keep a roof over his head and provide the extravagance of buying videotapes of old movies. Despite his efforts to cut himself off, the world has a way of reaching out to him and dragging him back. Finding people professionally has a tendency to do that, and Ann Horowitz, his counselor, says that by choosing that line of work he's also choosing to find himself-even if he won't admit it. Still smarting from a slap from a Bubbles Dreemer, a woman he had to serve a summons to earlier in the day, Fonesca is approached by Marvin Uliaks, a local handyman that Fonesca know because Marvin cleans the bathroom once a week in the complex where he keeps his office. Marvin hires Fonesca to look for his sister Vera Lynn, who has been missing for over twenty years. She and her husband disappeared after the suspicious death of another young woman all of them knew. Some said that the woman jumped through a window and committed suicide; others insisted that Vera Lynn or her husband threw her out. Marvin doesn't tell Fonesca any of this in the beginning. At the same time, Flo Zink, one of the small list of friends Fonesca has, calls to let him know Adele, a girl that Fonesca rescued only a few short months ago, has disappeared. Prior to vanishing, Adele had been working with Conrad Lonsberg, a reclusive award-winning novelist, on her writing. Flo is currently sixteen-year old Adele's guardian, appointed by the state of Florida. Sally Porovsky, Fonesca's dating acquaintance, is also Adele's caseworker, so Fonesca ends up caught between Flo and Sally, trying to figure out how to get Adele to come back home. Fonesca takes up both trails with Ames McKinney, a seventy-five year old maverick cowboy with a penchant for action instead of dialogue and an arsenal large enough to defend a Third World country. The trail turns bloody from the onset. While Adele remains in hiding and burning the only copies there are of Conrad Lonsberg's unpublished manuscripts, which are potentially worth millions of dollars, someone begins looking for her, leaving a trail of bodies behind. Prolific mystery writer Stuart Kaminsky currently has four mystery series underway and adds new volumes to each. He began his writing career in 1977 with A BULLET FOR A STAR, the first Toby Peters mystery. The Peters mystery series currently has 22 volumes, is set in 1940s Hollywood (Kaminsky was also a film historian and college professor), and always features at least one star of the times that Peters has to help out. His Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov novels are about a Moscow policeman. Abe Lieberman is a solid Jewish detective with a pragmatic streak set in Chicago. He's also written two novels featuring James Garner's signature character, Jim Rockford, from the television show, THE ROCKFORD FILES. Lew Fonesca is a complicated detective. He's clever and he's steady, but he lacks the central core of ambition that is at the heart of so many fictional characters. In the first book, Fonesca comes off as perhaps too distant, but Kaminsky corrects for that by telling an engaging tale filled with pathos and rich characters. The author also moves the tale along at a blistering pace. In RETRIBUTION, Fonesca is slowly moving closer to being a full person again. He still has his depression but says that it beats the anxiety that replaces the depression when the depression goes away, which so many readers in today's hectic world can relate to. The writing is lucid and tight, moving the story along briskly while taking time to establish scene and character. The relationship between Ames and Fonesca is really well done and lends itself to Fonesca's character. Ames is there to provide support in a physical and firepower way, but also to be frank and forthright without waxing philosophical. Ames is a key figure and easy to grasp, and when he solidifies Fonesca's thinking, it only takes a few words. Despite Fonesca's best efforts, his life is growing and the world is drawing him back into it. The mysteries are on the light side, but both are fraught with emotion and a sense of history and family, themes that seem to resonate well within the Lew Fonesca series. Good as the mystery aspects are within the novel, a little more set-up would have been welcome. Adele's motivation came a little too late in the novel, and neither the reader nor Fonesca seemed to have a fair chance at it. Also, although the solution to this mystery was hinted at, the clues weren't solidly in place. Some readers won't like the fact that Fonesca got some of the answers and Kaminsky didn't share them with his audience until he closed the novel. RETRIBUTION is a good read for mystery and private eye readers that like emotional depth and complexity in their tales. And when it comes to sheer reading enjoyment, a confident hand, and a down-home storytelling style, Stuart Kaminsky is money in the bank every time. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

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