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The Beat, by stephen jay schwartz | Gather

1 rating: 3.0
Book Review

Oct 01, 2010 I wonder what would happen if you crossed a great crime-writer like Michael Connelly with a writer of gritty suspense movies set in the s  http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978563995

Tags: Books, Book, Suspense, Crime, The Beat, Stephen Jay Schwartz
1 review about The Beat, by stephen jay schwartz | Gather

A Cop tries to Beat his own Demons

  • Oct 1, 2010
Rating:
+3

I wonder what would happen if you crossed a great crime-writer like Michael Connelly with a writer of gritty suspense movies set in the sexual underworld—something with crime and rather graphic and dark sexuality, I expect; something like Beat. I’d already read author Stephen Jay Schwartz’s short story Crossing the Line about a young LA cop assigned to vice, who learns the dark and practical way why one particular prostitute can never be arrested. When I read of Detective Hayden Glass’s sex addiction on the back cover of Beat, I knew what to expect. But the front cover quote from Michael Connelly is just as telling, describing The Beat as a great original take on detective fiction. It has a dark and gritty mystery, a powerfully convincing protagonist, a steamy underbelly running through San Francisco and internet porn, and a hard-fought-for hope. I hope it might make a good movie one day, but the novel’s written with such convincing description, I feel like I’ve already seen it. Stephen Jay Schwartz is deservedly a Los Angeles Time Bestselling Author.

The abused women caught up in vice-torn San Francisco are only one side to this story. Protagonist Glass is a wounded soul himself, with dark secrets never wholly revealed, and a berserker anger that lies just a short way in his past (and future too perhaps). Rewarded with a medal for his valiant capture of a violent criminal, he’s also consigned to the psychiatrist’s couch for the destruction he wrought, and for his sex addiction. A cop with a beat of his own and demons to beat, Glass has not really fallen; he just falling with style he thinks, till the girl he believes he loves disappears and her captors fail to kill him. Now the search is on. Who owns whom? Whose money buys which influence? And who’s on the take?

The story is an exciting roller coaster ride as Glass follows clues, falls behind, finds hope and betrays it again. But the ride leads ever forward with Glass climbing higher after each deeper fall, till a final violent conclusion and surprise decision open the door to peaceful respite. Not a pleasant man, Glass is convincingly real and well worth saving; he has a wounded honesty that really pulls the reader to his side. Not an easy read, Beat is a powerful evocative novel of dark crime, graphic violence, and surprising depth. I’m really glad I was given the chance to read and review it for the author’s Blog Tour.

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