In my last post, I tried to bring you a bit of magic. Back to doom and gloom today but oh what a wonderful book this is.
The Bleecker Street Bodies by Aaron Gallagher introduces us to Harry DeMarko, a former New York City police officer and now-private investigator who is asked by a friend on the force to look into the murder of a hooker close to his apartment he has no idea how dark his world is about to get. When one body becomes several bodies and the suspicion of his former colleagues turns to him, Harry is faced with a tough choice – back off, or keep pushing.
Man, this book is grim – but I loved it. I ultimately agreed to read it because it gave me Jack the Ripper vibes initially. However, this is not a rip off of an age-old story. It is something pretty great in itself.
I loved the strong descriptions and imagery of poverty, bleakness and grit. Considering this is a book mostly about murder and prostitution it is not a surprise to have those themes there. However, what I loved, even more, is how the author doesn’t simply dismiss prostitution. The reader is told that this is a murky underworld and that people, including the police, really don’t care that much if a prostitute is murdered. On the other hand, the reader sees the humanity in the working girls and can empathise toward their struggles in their job and what they have to go through due to a lack of respect towards another human being. We see both sides of the coin of prostitution and this made for a more well-rounded story.
Another well-rounded element of The Bleecker Street Bodies is Harry. I felt a human connection to him and had him sussed out as a nice guy right from the beginning. This makes a change from the usual 2D bad cop or the bad cop with a good heart that the reader doesn’t really see until the end of the book. Harry brings the story of the murders and the story of his relationship with Toni together. His relationship with Toni helps bring a balance to the grit of the story but sometimes it can overshadow everything else. This may be a bit frustrating if you like your crime books hardcore.
One final thing that sold me was the author’s writing style. It had real dialogue and I could totally imagine real-life people in these positions speaking like the characters too. The book also had a good flow, with the drama truly escalating at the end.
Overall, I was glued to The Bleecker Street Bodies and was satisfied at the end. Will you be too?
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.