Friday, August 03, 2007

Pg. 69: Michael Simon's "The Last Jew Standing"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Michael Simon's The Last Jew Standing.

About the book, from the author's website:
Will detective Dan Reles arrest his own father . . . or will the Mob find him first?

Lieutenant Dan Reles has a new house, a wife, and a son, and a great career as head of Austin Homicide, but it’s funny how your past catches up with you. When Dan’s deadbeat father Ben Reles, a Mafia legbreaker who’s spent the last twenty years on the run, shows up on Dan’s doorstep with an escaped prostitute in tow, trouble is sure to follow.

That trouble is Sam Zelig, a sociopathic godfather with limitless resources and boundless rage. In several diabolical strokes, he now holds Austin hostage, forcing Dan to choose between the town he’s sworn to protect, his new family, and his father. In the process he faces trial by fire, bullet, bridge embankment, and one very angry woodchipper. Sure to satisfy Simon’s core devotees as well as fans of Dennis Lehane and James Ellroy, Last Jew Standing is fastpaced and suspenseful from start to finish.
Among the advance praise for the novel:
The Last Jew Standing is a terrific detective story, smart, dark, and acidly funny. A wonderful read!”
—Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland and Striver's Row

The Last Jew Standing is a great rollicking yarn about good guys and bad guys in many splendid shades of gray. It is also a brilliant exploration of the complex ties of family and the price we pay for love, and for loyalty. This is a crime story that transcends any bounds of genre. Michael Simon is a literary force to be reckoned with.”
—Thomas Kelly, author of Empire Rising

The Last Jew Standing is one of the few crime novels of the past decade by a relatively new writer that I've felt is a must-read. Gritty, dirty and violent, The Last Jew Standing brings to life characters I don't think I will ever forget. Some are heartbreakingly sad. Some are shockingly selfish and violent and others wander through life improvising with the creativity of the desperate. Michael Simon is a masterful teller of tales that made me care. Don't miss this author who may remind you of James Ellroy or George V. Higgins or even Don Winslow, but is uniquely his very arrestable self.”
—Stuart M. Kaminsky

“In his trademark neat, almost noir prose, Simon perfectly conveys the dilemmas facing a perpetual outsider determined to do the right thing. His hero is subtly drawn, his problems plausible and his colleagues are smart renderings. A graceful thriller.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Fast, furious and anarchic!”
Michael Simon is a former actor, playwright, and Texas probation officer; his other thrillers include Dirty Sally, Body Scissors, and Little Faith.

Read an excerpt from The Last Jew Standing, and learn more about Michael Simon and his books at his website and his MySpace page.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Jew Standing.

--Marshal Zeringue