Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Mystery/Police Procedural
Approximate word count: 115-120,000 words
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A published author since 1978, David Grace (often under the name David Alexander) has thirteen novels, two collections of crime short stories, and five science fiction short story collections to his credit.
For more, visit Grace’s website.
“Homicide Detective Ned Danes discovers that an ambitious Deputy D.A. has concealed evidence of an accused murderer's innocence in order to secure a headline-grabbing conviction. Danes is warned that a smart guy would keep his mouth shut. More interested in being a good guy than a smart one, Danes torpedoes the corrupt Deputy D.A.'s case, and for his honesty, Danes is exiled to the tiny basement office of the Cold Case Squad.”
“FBI agent Phillip Abbott has been put on leave for his last sixty days before his forced retirement. He has that long to catch a drug-cartel hit man whose specialty is murdering entire families. Completely alone, Abbott needs a courageous cop like Ned Danes to back him up.”
The Concrete Kiss might have been titled A Tale of Two Lawmen. The two main characters, big city policeman Ned Danes and FBI agent Phillip Abbott, cross paths early in the story and establish a friendship that, while based on their profession, goes beyond that. As each continues on their own, chasing a different criminal each is obsessed with bringing to justice, it isn’t apparent how or if the two story threads will resolve and when the two will work together again, although it is an easy assumption that the latter of these will eventually happen.
These two story threads each receive thorough treatment as the reader gets to know both characters well. Another significant character, FBI agent Phillip Abbott’s adoptive daughter, Jessie, has her own compelling back-story and her contribution is critical to the story and its appeal. Although longer than typical for the genre due to the multiple story threads, The Concrete Kiss is fast-paced, unpredictable, and should hit the sweet spot for fans of police procedurals or thrillers. Author Grace sets up well for a series with these same characters, possibly even two series, one with Ned Danes, and the other with Phil Abbott and Jessie.
Some adult language.
A small number of copy-editing and proofing misses.
Rating: ***** Five stars