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Where the Dead Lay    by David Levien order for
Where the Dead Lay
by David Levien
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

When Indianapolis ex-cop Frank Behr (introduced in City of the Sun) arrives at the gym for a lesson in Brazilian jujitsu with his friend and mentor, he finds the man murdered. Thus starts a thriller that just won't stop delivering shocks at almost every turn of the page. Behr, a former cop and a large man, finds that he will need both those attributes to find who killed his friend and why.

Behr is commissioned by the police to do some undercover investigating into the vicious takeover of Brazilian illegal gambling parlors. A private investigative firm also wants him to find two of their missing operatives. As time moves on, Behr finds that the two cases intertwine and he almost falls off the charts in his zeal to avenge his friend.

David Levien has another winner in this second of his series featuring Frank Behr. The writing is tight with a finely tuned plot. Characterization is what it should be, with some characters who are too brutish to exist - but we all know they are out there. The action takes place in Indianapolis, so that the reader gets an overview of the underworld in that city. A crime family exists possessing neither compassion nor humanity. Asocial, they feel they should have what they want and will get it in any way necessary.

Where the Dead Lay is a very good read. It's well worth the time spent and it's one that will stay with you for a while.

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