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I have tried several times now to read all three Reggie Nadelson (is this a man or a woman?) books. I love Elijah Alexander. His voice is smooth, textured and gravelly at the same time. He is reading a little quickly. The protagonist is a young NYC detective, Artie, a Russian Jew by descent, who is a decently well-written character. However, almost all of the characters around him sound wrong to me. The giant Tolya is bigger than life in too many ways, so much so that he's preposterous. The annoying Sonny Lippert is so awful that I just can't stand both his dialogue, which is almost always a disconnected, rambling, historical monologue, and how he is voiced, which is nasal. The young Billy is believable, a 14-year-old with a violent history (he killed a man in Brooklyn) whom Artie brings back from his psychiatric placement in Florida. Even Artie's car is wrong: who drives an old Cadillac and lives in a loft in downtown Manhattan? Tolya's daughter Valentina is likewise so beautiful and so world-weary at nineteen that she strains credulity. The plots are dreadful, sensational murders which often involve dead children with severed limbs. Who needs this? All the post-9/11 talk is now dated, the patriotism of Staten Island quaint and boring. These books will not stand the test of time, but I hope Elijah Alexander reads another novelist. I looked at his website: he is a classically trained actor, with a lot of Shakespeare under his belt. I hope to hear more from him.
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