Dialogues of a Crime

Dialogues of a Crime

3.83 (316 ratings by Goodreads)
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Ranked #20, Amazon Best Sellers, 14 October 2014
Silver Medal Winner, Realistic Fiction, 2016 Readers' Favorite Book Awards 1972. The Chicago Mob stands unchallenged, and college students with drugs provide fodder for political point-making. Michael Pollitz, a nineteen-year-old with connections to the Outfit, becomes one of those political pawns. 1994. Job-weary CPD Detective Larry Klinger becomes obsessed with a cold case from that pivotal moment twenty-two years ago. In the course of his investigation, he encounters questions of ethics, guilt, and justice that make him doubt certainties that have sustained him for decades. Dialogues of a Crime examines guilt, innocence and the long-term ramifications of crime and punishment in a gray area where the personal lives of perpetrators, victims and law officers overlap. San Francisco Book Review: "In cold-case murder mystery Dialogues of a Crime, John Manos causes the reader to check their own assumptions not only about drug crimes, the prison system, mobsters, long-term effects of violent crimes on the victims, and justice, but also about what actually happens in the novel. Time and again Manos sets up the story in such a way that the reader is left wondering what really happened. Instead of being aggravating, I found this tactic admirable because it's so well done. Manos has a very fluid writing style with a balance of exposition and introspection, along with compelling narration that really pulls the reader along. It was a little short on description, but so well written that it's hardly noticeable. The dialogue was believable, which is surprising for a crime novel that includes the mob. All the components of his story just really, really worked. "Endings are really important, and Manos nailed this one. Despite the finality of the conclusion, the book leaves so much to mystery. I don't recommend this novel for people who like shiny, big bows that tie everything up, but I do recommend it for anyone who wants a challenge and something to think about."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 133 x 203 x 16mm | 318g
  • English
  • New
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1937484130
  • 9781937484132

About John K Manos

John K. Manos lives in Evanston, Illinois. He makes his living as a writer, editor, and musician. KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW)
In Manos' 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 Astoria 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 Calabria, 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. Manos is extremely deft at allowing the characters to reveal the story and what motivates them. Klinger captures this particularly well; he ponders his role in the reality of crime and punishment, and Manos allows him to grow in the process: "Interviewing scumbags has to be the most tedious damn thing in the world, Klinger thought, as Bobby Andrews jumped back and forth over the same explanations, tripping over one lie after another." The characters are rich in their speech, experiences and motivations, which the measured, purposeful writing only enhances. A character-driven crime novel ruled by complex men facing the past.
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Rating details

316 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 30% (96)
4 38% (120)
3 20% (64)
2 7% (22)
1 4% (14)
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