Saturday, December 07, 2019
An Old Man's Game by Andy Weinberger
Howie Rothbart, president of the Board at Temple Shir Emmet, wants Amos to look into the death of their rabbi. Amos reminds Howie that he's retired, and isn't an observant Jew, but Rothbart doesn't care. Ezra Diamant died over lunch at Canter's Deli. Although the police say it was a natural death, and the rabbi smoked and was overweight, the Board wants reassurance. Their rabbi was charismatic and forceful. He made headlines. And, he stirred up trouble.
It's Amos who actually stirs up trouble with his questions. Two people end up dead who were connected to the rabbi. Amos finds a bullet on the hood of his car. Even Parisman's friend, Lt. Bill Malloy, thinks Amos might be on to something. It's time for Amos to have protection, though. He turns to Omar Villasenor, a thirty-year-old Mexican who credits Parisman with keeping him out of jail. The big man is intimidating, but gentle. He'll do to watch Amos' back.
Amos is definitely the star of this mystery. He's quiet and unassuming, a man who loves his wife who is slipping into dementia. His observations about Judaism, and the sermons written by the rabbi, are fascinating. He's just going through the motions of life, one step at a time, until the case comes along. In fact, in observing his retirement, he says, "It's not retirement exactly, more like the system is quietly shutting down on its own." There's his comment, "Depression, followed by the triumph of the human spirit? Hey, that's me in a nutshell."
Looking for a PI with the wisdom of his age? That's Amos Parisman. I hope the kind, thoughtful PI returns to show readers that criminal investigation really can be An Old Man's Game.
An Old Man's Game by Andy Weinberger. Prospect Park Books, 9781945551642 (paperback), 224p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.