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on June 15, 2011 :
I recognised and enjoyed the "hard-boiled" genre style of this book. It has all the frequent characteristics of such tales: a disillusioned law-man, in this case an ex-prosecutor, Andrew Giobberti, separated from his wife, their dead child. Giobberti is living an idle life with his pregnant girlfriend, he has a half-hearted attempt at an affair with a neighbour and takes a generally gloomy perspective on everything. Walking his dog, he keeps running into a strange man in the park, some antisocial drop-out whom he names "the golem", a person he wants to avoid who seems to know his girlfriend, and is in general all "wrong". This stranger pays no part in the plot, and is probably somebody the author has actually run into, but in this book the golem-man may symbolise the protagonist's own fears of what he may become.
To the plot: of course, there is a suspicious character, in this case a millionaire rapper, a beautiful but possibly dangerous woman, some murders, etc, etc, but I don't want to talk about it. What I want is to give two quotes:
"Talking to me on a Friday morning is like watching a motorcycle crash while you’re mailing a letter: somewhat horrifying, to be certain, but at least it’s a change of pace."
"There I am, a big idiot lawyer on the steps of Supreme, encircled by the hungry mob. My necktie is crooked, my hair is too long, my face is too tanned - in other words I look just about right for the job, even if I don’t look like myself."
The real point of this review is one observation: Reuland can write.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on May 18, 2011 :
This is first-rate Rob Reuland, and Rob Reuland is the best of the best. If it's published as an e-book because it was turned down by his publisher, I suspect the reason may be that they were not satisfied by the motivation of the whodunit aspect of the book. If so, that's too bad, because to a Rob Reuland aficionado that aspect is incidental. Like Rob's other crime novels, Represent rises far above the genre classification that publishers look to for reassurance. The murder mystery is just one component of the deep enjoyment this book provides, and not the most important component. And I suspect that Rob presented us with crimes that had no ready-made easy-to-understand motives because, as he knows from experience, that's the way it is in real life. For him, it was simply part of the verisimilitude that he does so well. That's my guess. I hope that's not what caused his publisher to make the mistake of foregoing their chance to add this solid achievement to their list.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 05, 2011 :
Robert Reuland brings depth and complexity to crime novels. Although that appears to be the genre, it's unfair to pin that tag on his books. They are so much more. Reuland writes literature. The crime aspect is a setting, one with which he is familiar as a lawyer.
He keeps the story realistic, faithful to what goes on in the criminal part of Brooklyn's world. He presents people and events that many of his readers probably have had little exposure to. His plots are inventive, clever, and full of surprising twists. His rich setup forms the basis for the fireworks at the climax.
Like the good writers of literary fiction, his story is a vehicle for exploring, illuminating, and puzzling over human nature. Good literature is another way of approaching what is covered by other fields such as philosophy, psychology, or sociology, for example.
Reuland develops, details, and fleshes out his characters. He brings them to life. He gives them the challenges, difficulties, emotions, and "moral ambiguities" that we all have to wrestle with in some way. Reuland's interior monologues are some of the best that I have ever read.
Reuland's books make us think. He poses questions, but knows better than to try to answer them. He spurs us to ponder at the same time he perplexes us.
Represent is the third book in his series. He puts his protagonist in different situations, doing different tasks within the scope of practicing criminal law. But Andrew Giobberti is no wooden serial character. He changes, grows, and learns.
They're all great books. With the realism, and the clever plots, Reuland's books are the best of both worlds.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)