Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pg. 69: Gabriel Cohen's "The Graving Dock"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Gabriel Cohen's The Graving Dock.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the chill of winter, a homemade coffin drifts ashore in New York Harbor, containing the body of a boy with the letters “G.I.” written on his forehead. As a detective with Brooklyn South Homicide, Jack Leightner finds that corpses are a part of every working day. But today his attention is riveted on a considerably smaller box, containing an engagement ring for his girlfriend Michelle.…

In his second mystery featuring Detective Jack Leightner, Edgar Award-nominated author Gabriel Cohen vividly captures New York’s most fascinating borough.

The relatively gentle treatment of the victim in Jack’s new case leads him to believe that the boy may have been subject to a strange type of mercy killing. But when a new body appears, it’s clear that no mercy was involved.

Meanwhile, Jack can’t figure out his new partner, Tommy Balfa. The man seems fixated on some mysterious trouble of his own, leaving Jack to find out why the unknown boy was sent adrift. Eventually, Jack is forced to take on a second, unofficial investigation into his own partner’s shady activities. And both cases keep interfering with his attempts to propose to his girlfriend. As all three plots thicken, Jack’s pursuit of the killer takes him on a whirlwind tour of hidden parts of New York Harbor, from the secret world of Governors Island to the dilapidated shipyards of the old Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Red Hook, Cohen’s debut, was called “outstanding” (The New York Times), “accomplished” (Publishers Weekly), and “compelling” (Booklist). The Graving Dock, the eagerly awaited sequel, is a triumph, even richer in atmosphere, action, and the mysteries of the human heart.
Among the praise for The Graving Dock:
"Death and recovery consume Det. Jack Leightner in his second appearance and validate the praise Cohen received for Red Hook. Cohen offers not just a mystery but a satisfying elegy for vanished ways of life."
Publishers Weekly

"Cohen’s second procedural believably captures the rhythms and interactions of a busy urban precinct. Everyman Jack, struggling to do the right thing, merits devotion."
Kirkus Reviews

“Intricate, atmospheric, funny and enthralling… An impressive crime novel from a powerful, promising writer.”
—George Pelecanos, author of The Night Gardener

"Sometimes, a book comes along and you realize it's just what you've been waiting for -- even if you didn't know it. Gabriel Cohen has written another winner, bittersweet and melancholic, but not without hope for the human condition."
—Laura Lippman, author of What the Dead Know

"The breadth of Gabriel Cohen's knowledge of such disparate subjects as tides, Buddhism, and the NYPD is matched by the depth of his knowledge of the human heart. The Graving Dock is as beautifully observed as it is completely absorbing."
—SJ Rozan, author of In This Rain
Read an excerpt from The Graving Dock and learn more about the novel and author at Gabriel Cohen's website.

Gabriel Cohen is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated novel Red Hook, its new sequel The Graving Dock, and the novel Boombox. His nonfiction book Storms Can’t Hurt the Sky: a Buddhist Path Through Divorce will be released in March.

The Page 69 Test: Gabriel Cohen's The Graving Dock.

--Marshal Zeringue