Theodore J. Cohen
TJC Press (2014)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (06/14)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Eighth Circle,’ A Detetective Martelli Mystery Thriller by Theodore J. Cohen on Blogcritics.
In his new book “Eighth Circle” Theodore J. Cohen uses fiction as a tool to alert the reader to the dangers of graft, greed, and political corruption; using intrigue, creative imagination, and a unique writing style to draw the reader into an interactive entertaining reading experience. This is the fifth book in the Martelli series.
Stymied after months of investigation into the execution type murder of the grandson and wife, of New York City’s Mayor, Detective Louis Martelli and his partner Detective Sean O’Keeffe are given an ultimatum by Police Captain Hanlon, and a deadline for solving the case. The case had “ear marks of a mob hit.” A meeting with the doctor of the murdered young wife opened an unexpected lead and resulted in the late night arson on Martelli’s wife’s car. A chain of unexpected events from the past, bribes, under the table schemes, and mob revenge follow, keeping Martelli and his friends looking over their shoulders right up to the volatile conclusion.
Cohen has an amazing depth of understanding of police procedures and politics, hospital operations, and human nature. Careful research stimulated by newspaper headlines featuring political corruption, and mass murders is carefully documented and authenticate the accuracy of his careful descriptions of the New York City locale, investigative processes, and the vast resources available through computer access.
Cohen uses dialog effectively to move the plot and story line forward, keeping the reader on track. The action plot and ready-made script make “Eighth Circle” and the Martelli series ideal for movie adaptation. In a book series characters often take on personal feelings similar to those of real life friends and acquaintances. Cohen’s characters display a camaraderie, social interaction, respect and deep emotional concern for each other. In “Eighth Circle” there is evidence of growth in their personal confidence level and in their professional skill. Cohen adeptly uses description to create a “mood” which authenticates the setting with the plot. He also adds a bit of eccentric by detailing unusual physical quirks in appearance, in personality traits, ethnic accents, and his choice of vocabulary in describing his secondary characters.
“Eighth Circle” reads like an investigative reporting expose: action packed filled with drama, suspense, technology, psychopaths, corruption, and murder. Theodore J. Cohen’s writing just keeps getting better.