Author: John K Manos
Publisher: Amika Press
Type of book: Crimes, mafia, Chicago, 1972, 1994, jail life, rape, drugs, friendship, loyalty, family, relationships, justice
Year it was published: 2013
NAMED TO KIRKUS REVIEWS' BEST BOOKS OF 2013
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.
Probably the only character that grew throughout the book was Larry Klinger the jaded police officer. I didn't witness or see Michael's growth, aside from him becoming a workaholic who has little to no social life, and someone who turns his loyalties against his blood family. In 1972 Michael is best described as sort of a male Cinderella who has made it to the American dream until he gets arrested by police. He is also fiercely loyal to his blood family, even at the cost of his own freedom. In 1994, Larry is someone who's bored and depressed when they decide to follow a certain lead where they learn of the intricate conspiracy that was built up after 1972. Larry strikes up a friendship with Michael, and that's where everything he knows becomes questioned and where he has to make a choice of whether or not to continue to pursuit the case.
Doing the right thing has different interpretations for people
The book is written in third person narrative from Michael's and Larry's points of view, although sometimes we also get Calabria's point of view. The writing style is deceptively simple and the author focuses more on the "present" rather than the influences of time, at least in my opinion. (For example very little is given about Michael Pollitz's background) But I still found it an entertaining and informative read that grabbed me and didn't want to let me go. Certain things don't really get resolved or explained, but I guess the author is asking the reader to act as a detective so we can create a "what happened" scenario.
John K. Manos was a magazine editor in Chicago for 20 years. Since 2001 he has earned his living as a writer, editor, and occasional musician. He is a graduate of Knox College. Dialogues of a Crime is his first novel.
From the description I expected the book to use complex language, but, I was pleasantly surprised. The language and conversations are simple, but behind the simple language lies complex and troubling ideas that dare to have human beings rethinking the meaning of revenge as well as justice and how justice should be doled out. Very thought provoking and highly recommended for everyone. I do admit that that dialogue is a huge bonus for the book and its really an atypical novel because the characters and the story aren't the big strengths. The characters were a bit stereotypical and while they are thought-provoking, they weren't very complex, aside from Michael. The story also seems to be connected loosely instead of fully, at least beginnings of it, and the readers are barely given any necessary background on Michael and others. I also enjoyed learning about prison life in the book as well as what police find important and unimportant.
John Manos’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, May 5th: Simply Stacie
Wednesday, May 7th: Bookish Ardour
Thursday, May 8th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, May 12th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, May 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, May 15th: Bound by Words
Monday, May 19th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, May 21st: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, May 22nd: My Bookshelf
Tuesday, May 27th: Books a la Mode – guest post/giveaway
Thursday, May 29th: Crime Book Club
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)