Publisher: Amika Press
Date of publication: July 2013
In this crime drama, Michael Pollitz must decide whether to protect the mobster who has protected him.
When Mike, a college student in 1972
Illinois, is arrested on drug charges, his
father insists he use a public defender. His childhood friend’s father, Dom Calabria, head of the Outfit in Chicago, wants to help Mike by providing a
first-rate lawyer, but Mike goes with his father’s wishes. The outcome is a
plea bargain for a short stay in Astoria Adult Correctional Facility—but after
he’s brutally beaten and raped by three inmates, Mike spends most of his
sentence in the infirmary. He doesn’t give up his assailants’ names but
threatens their lives right before he’s set to be released. When Mike is picked
up by the head of the mob, people notice.
Flash forward to 1994, when Detective Larry Klinger begins investigating the murders of two former
inmates who were violently killed shortly after being released. An
informant—the third man who beat Mike—tells Klinger that the murders were
committed by Astoria ,
the kingpin whom Klinger would like to see taken down. Klinger investigates,
coming in contact with Mike, and the two form a friendship. When Klinger
realizes that Mike will never give up Calabria ,
he begins to wonder whether it’s even worth investigating the murders of such
evil men. Calabria
Dialogues of a Crime was not the suspenseful thriller that I was hoping I would get. Honestly, I thought the book was very slow and not really engaging. I never got the feeling of mystery or suspense that I was hoping to get. I found myself putting it down in favor of other books. Never a good sign. The book starts in 1972 with the arrest of Michael, a quiet college kid, who happened to show an undercover cop the room of a drug dealer. In a sweep of the campus, he is taken into custody as an accessory to the dealer. His father refuses the possibility of a good lawyer in favor of a public defender who subsequently convinces Michael to plead guilty. For what? I think that is where I had a hard time buying into the story. Any two-bit lawyer would have been able to get those charges dropped, even in 1972.
The story went down hill after I read about what happened to Michael in prison. I felt so bad for him because he never should have been there in the first place. I found myself not caring if the murderers of the men who assaulted him were ever caught, even 20 years later. If you ask me, they got what they deserved. Because of this, the book really lost interest for me. I didn't like the cop or DA who tried to uncover the truth and I found myself rooting for Michael and his mob friends.
The book has gotten a lot of good reviews, so I am clearly in the minority.
About the author:
John K. Manos was a magazine editor inwriter, editor, and occasional musician. He is a graduate of
Chicago for 20 years. Since 2001 he has
earned his living as a . Dialogues of a Crime is
his first novel. Knox College
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