Cover image for The last dark place : an Abe Lieberman mystery
Title:
The last dark place : an Abe Lieberman mystery
Author:
Kaminsky, Stuart M.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2005.

©2004
Physical Description:
349 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780786275328
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

An Edgar Award-winning AuthorKnown as the Rabbi and the Priest, Chicago detectives Abe Lieberman and Bill Hanrahan have seen their share of heartbreak - and hope. Now, Hanrahan is coupled with a temporary partner who is a racist while Abe heads for Arizona on an extradition case that goes horribly wrong.


Author Notes

Stuart M. Kaminsky is head of the radio/television/film department at Northwestern University in Illinois. He is also a writer of textbooks, screenplays, and mystery novels.

The more popular of his two series of detective novels features Toby Peters. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, the Peters books draw on Kaminsky's knowledge of history and love of film by incorporating characters from the film industry's past in nostalgic mysteries. Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (1978), for example, features Judy Garland while Catch a Falling Clown (1982) stars Emmett Kelley as Peters's client and Alfred Hitchcock as a murder suspect.

His other critically acclaimed series chronicles the cases of Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov. Kaminsky's detailed studies of Russian police procedure combined with aspects of life in Russia have earned the Series an Edgar nomination for Black Knight in Red Square (1984) and the 1989 Edgar Award for A Cold Red Sunrise (1988).

Stuart Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and died in 2009.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The eighth entry in Kaminsky's Abe Lieberman series about two embattled North Side Chicago cops should delight fans but confuse and frustrate newcomers. Fans of Kaminsky's work in other series (Toby Peters, Inspector Rostnikov, Lew Fonesca) will find him a tight-lipped guide here. There is barely any backstory about the two cops, one Irish (Hanrahan), one Jewish (Lieberman), or their lives, and much depends on backstory in this series. But for the Lieberman true believers, this installment is rich in conflict and atmosphere. Lieberman has been sent to Yuma, Arizona, for the extradition of a Mob hitman, who himself gets whacked while handcuffed to Lieberman at the airport. On the home front, partner Hanrahan and an insufferable substitute partner are trying to track down youths who practice assault and battery, most notably on the wife of an up-and-coming Chicago cop. It's great to see the growth of these two characters and their relationship throughout the series, but anyone trying to start the series by leaping onto this moving sidewalk is sure to stumble. For fans only. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Edgar-winner Kaminsky's eighth Abe Lieberman mystery (after 2002's Not Quite Kosher) gets off to a dramatic start. After a prologue in which a gunman confronts a young Lieberman in the middle of a morning prayer service in 1969, the action flashes forward 33 years to find the sardonic 60-something Chicago cop handcuffed to the same gunman, a professional assassin facing extradition back to the Windy City. When an unassuming elderly janitor shocks the veteran lawman by gunning down the assassin in the airport, Lieberman takes on the thankless task of identifying the person who ordered the hit. As that inquiry proceeds, Lieberman tries to defuse a Latin-Asian gang war. Meanwhile, Lieberman's Irish partner, Bill Hanrahan, juggles a rape case and a stalker who's targeting his pregnant wife. Long on vigilante justice, the book succeeds more as a character study than as a whodunit, though the resolution of the sexual-assault inquiry does contain a decent twist. The confluence of the plot threads might strike some as far-fetched, but Kaminsky's sympathetic hero and his believable family relationships make this an entertaining crime novel that should send new readers in search of its predecessors. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Dec. 1) FYI: The author of more than 50 books, Kaminsky also writes the Lew Fonseca, Toby Peters and Porfiry Rostnikov mystery series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One July 16, 1969 The little old man was nodding his head and mumbling to himself as he walked down the gray corridor of the synagogue. It was not an unusual sight, but this particular old man was unfamiliar to Morrie Greenblatt, who approached him. Morrie towered over the old man, who wore a black yarmulke atop his freckled, nearly bald head and a white-fringed tallis over his shoulders. Under his arm the old man was carrying a black prayer book. From the main sanctuary, the sound of voices, a man and a woman, went back and forth nervously. "Excuse me," said Morrie. The old man stopped and looked up at the tall slope-shouldered man who had stopped him. "We need you," Morrie said, glancing at his watch. "Me?" asked the old man in a voice that sounded raspy from too many hours of prayer. "We need one more for the morning minyan," Morrie said. "A tenth man." "But I..." the old man began looking toward the main sanctuary. "It won't take long. I promise. Prayers and then if you have time we have bagels and coffee. We need you. Sid Applebaum was supposed to be here but he has a stomach something and with the rain..." "You need me?" the old man said. "Yes." The old man shrugged and said, "Then I'll come." Ten Jewish men who had been bar mitzvahed at the age of thirteen were required to meet the minimum number set forth in the Holy Bible for morning prayers. Morrie, who owned a bath and tile store on Lawrence Avenue, was the congregation's unofficial gabai, the one who saw to it that things got done. No one, not even Morrie, was sure whether Morrie had volunteered for this job or it had simply evolved. Morrie, now almost fifty, accepted the responsibility, the principle task of which was to see to it that there was a minyan for each morning's prayers. The regulars, if they were healthy, were no problem. He could always count on Rabbi Wass and his son, Cal Schwartz, Marvin Stein, Hyman Lieberman, Joshua Kornpelt, Sid Applebaum, and himself. He would check the night before with phone calls and if it looked as if they would be short, Morrie would ask Marv Stein to bring his brother or Hy Lieberman to bring his sons. Some days they had as many as sixteen or more. Some days they had walk-ins who were from out of town or regular congregation members there to observe yartzeit, the anniversary of a loved one's death. When he had counted this morning, Morrie had been sweating. Both of Lieberman's sons had come looking none-too-happy to be there. Maish Lieberman explained that their father Hyman wasn't feeling well. Maish was thirty-six and by this time in the early morning was usually at the T&L, the new deli he had opened with a loan from his father and Sid Applebaum. Abe, at thirty, was the puzzle of the lot. Short and lean like his father with the same dark curly hair, Abe was a policeman who came to services only when his father pressured him into doing so. Only last week Abe had been promoted to detective and an unimposing detective he was, a shrimp beanstalk with a sad face too old for his years. A few minutes ago, Maish, his yarmulke perched precariously atop his head, had nodded and talked about the price of eggs and the courage of astronauts. Abe in a sport jacket and tie looking like a shoe salesman had politely asked Morrie, "You want me to call Alex?" "I'll find someone," Morrie had answered. It was a matter of pride, but time was against him. "Alex can be here in ten minutes," said Abe. "I'll find," Morrie had repeated. "Morrie, this is my third day on the job. I've got to be downtown in an hour and a half." "You'll be there," Morrie assured him. "The bad guys'll wait." "Bad guys don't wait," Abe said. "Let me call Alex." "I'll find," Morrie repeated. "With God's help, I'll find." Abe Lieberman had shrugged and moved over to talk to Rabbi Wass's son, who at the age of thirteen was almost as tall as the policeman. The boy wore thin glasses that kept creeping down his nose. A sudden jab and they were back up again ready to start slipping. Now, less than five minutes after he had left, Morrie entered the small chapel across from the central sanctuary and announced, "We have a minyan." As Morrie ushered his treasured old man in, Marv Stein let out a loud sigh of relief. Marv was reliable, but he was also retired and Marv had a tee-off time in a little over an hour. God willing the rain would stop. "This is Mr..." Morrie began. "Green," the old man said, taking Marvin's outstretched hand. "Nice to meet you, Green," Marv said, and then added, "Let's get started." The rabbi moved to the front of the small room, lectern before him, son at his side. The eight men and the rabbi's son sat in the chairs facing Rabbi Wass, a somber man with well-trimmed white hair, clean-shaven. To Abe, Wass looked like Lee J. Cobb with a stomachache. Morrie smiled in relief, ready to lose himself in the comfort of daily prayer, looking forward to a poppy seed bagel with cream cheese and arguing with Josh Kornpelt on some point about the U.S. role in Vietnam and God's role in JFK's murder or why none of the astronauts were Jewish. They would move on to the Cubs' hope for a pennant next. Green, the old man from the corridor, stood next to Morrie, who smiled at him. The Lieberman boys stood on the other side of the old man. Green gave a tentative smile back and the services began. They didn't last long. Maybe five minutes. Maybe ten. They were stopped by a loud, high-pitched raspy voice behind them. Not a shout but a high-pitched insistent demand. "Hold it," the man said. Rabbi Wass stopped and looked up through the narrow aisle that separated the cluster of ten men. All heads turned to the man who had entered. They saw a tall young man in dark pants and a black T-shirt. He was about twenty with long uncombed dark hair and bad teeth. He was carrying a gun. He didn't look like an Arab. Morrie concluded that he was a drugged-out wanderer who was there to rob them. Just so he wasn't an Arab terrorist. "We are at prayer," said Rabbi Wass guiding his son, who had run to his side, behind him. "You think I'm fucking blind," said the man, pointing his gun at the rabbi. "I can see what you're doing. I know where I'm at. I didn't think I was at the damned Dominick's supermarket or some shit." The gunman shook his head and looked around at the men who had turned to face him. There was no doubt that the intruder was drunk, on drugs or insane, possibly all three. "You can have our money," Rabbi Wass said calmly. "I know I can have your money," the tall man said, closing the door behind him. "I can have your money, your shirts, your shoes. I can have your goddamn lives." He looked into each face before him growing more agitated. "I don't want your goddamn money," he said willing himself, without success, to be calm. "Maybe I just want to come in here and let you know Jesus is coming and your asses are not getting into heaven. Don't matter how much you pray. You're going to hell." "We shall take your opinion for what it is," said the rabbi, who had now completely shielded his son with his body. "You're boning me," said the man with the gun. "Boning you?" asked the rabbi. "Making fun of me." "I'm not in a position to make fun of you," said the rabbi. "You're goddamn straight not in a position," the man said. "You are not in a position. Which one of you is Lee-burr-man?" "Why?" asked the rabbi. "I don't have to tell you why," the man said, stepping down the aisle. "I've got the gun. Just which one of you is Lieberman?" "What do you want with Mr. Lieberman?" asked the rabbi. The man with the gun shook his head. "What do I want with him? I want to blow his damn head off. That's what I want with him. Now let's get it down and done and I'll get out of here." "Why?" asked Rabbi Wass. Someone was praying softly. Cal Schwartz. Cal was over eighty. His eyes were closed and he was gently swaying. "What's he saying?" the gunman demanded. "It's Hebrew," said Morrie. "He is saying that God is Almighty. That there is but one God and that His will will be done." "Jesus, you people," said the gunman. "Lieberman, which one are you?" "Why do you want to kill Mr. Lieberman?" asked Rabbi Wass again. "Okay," said the man. "I got out of prison last week. I went home. I found out my little brother was dead. Over a year dead. A cop named Lieberman had shot him when Lance was just minding his own business. They kept it from me, told me Lance was away or some shit. Then I find out. I ask my mom where's Lance and she says, 'Connie, he was killed by some Jew in a uniform, killed for doing nothing, for being in the wrong place minding his own business.'" "What makes you think Lieberman is here?" asked the rabbi. "Because I'm no fucking dummy," said the man, tapping the barrel of his gun against the side of his head. "He's right in the phone book. I went to his apartment, brushed my hair back, smiled and said to the woman who opened the door that I was an old friend of Lieberman. Little girl was standing next to her. The woman told me Lieberman was here. Short walk. Big gun." "I'm Lieberman," Abe said. "I'm Lieberman," Maish said. And, not to be outdone and having seen Spartacus twice, Morrie said, "I'm Lieberman." Then, one by one, even Mr. Green, who had been brought in as a stray from the hall, identified himself as Lieberman. The only ones who didn't were the rabbi and his son. "All right then," the man with the gun said, "I can shoot all of you." "You ever shoot anyone, Connie?" asked Abe. The man looked at him, cocked his head to one side and leveled the gun toward the thin young man who had asked the question. "If there's got to be a first time," the man said. "It should be for good reason. I've got good reason." "To kill eight, ten people?" asked Maish. "If need be," said the gunman. "If need be." "And if we rush you?" asked Kornpelt. "We get you. You shoot one, maybe two of us and you probably don't get Lieberman. You get the electric chair or life in jail is what you'll get." "You're Lieberman," the gunman said to Joshua Kornpelt. "I already told you I was," said Joshua. The gunman was looking decidedly nervous now, his fingers clasping and unclasping the weapon in his head. "I'll start with you," he said to Maish. "I shoot you. Odds are I've got the right guy. If not, Lieberman can let me know now who he is. How about them apples, Lieberman? I'm going to shoot big mouth now unless you step up like a man." Maish tried to move past his brother to the gunman. Abe barred his way with his hand and stepped past Mr. Green and Morrie into the narrow aisle between the chairs. "If you shoot any one of us," Abe said, "we'll all tell you that you shot Abe Lieberman. And we may be telling you the truth. Odds are eight to one you're wrong. Or maybe you're right. You kill another one of us and you still won't know. You said we're all going to hell. What about you? You kill innocent people and Jesus'll take you to heaven on a big white bird?" "I'll repent," the gunman said. "You'll be lying," said Lieberman. "You think Jesus won't know you're lying?" "Shut up," shouted the gunman, pushing the gun inches from Abe's nose. "I'm starting with you. Right now." "I'm Lieberman," Abe said. "You're a smart-ass Jew, probably a lawyer." "I'm Lieberman," Abe repeated. "You armed?" the man answered. "We don't wear guns in the synagogue," said the rabbi. "You have a last name, Connie?" asked Lieberman. "If you're going to shoot me, I think I've got the right to know your name." "You have the right? And what right did Lance have? Lance Gower. Remember him? You're Lieberman? Prove it." The solution to this confused man's problem was evident to Morrie. Just tell everyone to pull out his wallet and show his driver's license. But Connie the gunman, Connie the intruder was clearly not operating within the realm of reason. The gun was now aimed at Lieberman's right eye. Lieberman blinked wearily. "Your brother Lance had just beaten a pharmacist nearly to death. Your brother Lance had a Kmart bagful of money and drugs in one hand and a gun bigger than yours in the other. The pharmacist hit the alarm before he passed out. My partner and I got there as your brother was coming out of the store. He shot at us. We shot back." "Bullshit and a half," the gunman sputtered, his face turning crimson. "Bullshit and a half. Lance was a good kid." "The pharmacist nearly died. He still can't talk so you can understand him," said Lieberman. "I will have my revenge. A life for a life." "I prefer 'Live and Let Live,'" said Lieberman. "Or 'Vengeance is Mine Sayeth the Lord.'" "I know the Good Book from cover to cover and back again," the gunman said. "I had seven years behind the walls. I read it. Now I've made a promise to myself, to Jesus, to my dead brother. I made a vow. Moses said, 'If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word, he shall do all that proceedeth out of his mouth.'" The gunman looked around the men proudly. He could outdo these Jews with his e and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities," said Rabbi Wass. "Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.'" "Amen," said Morrie. "Connie, let's go outside," Lieberman said to the gunman. "Here suits me just fine," the man said. "I'm going to blow your head off right here. Mess up your walls and all of your memories the way I'm messed up about Lance." Lieberman was in the aisle facing the man. Something touched Lieberman's back. He reached back slowly, keeping his sad eyes on those of the man with the gun whose bad breath wasn't overridden by the smell of alcohol. "Mortal sin going down here," said Lieberman, taking from Maish's hand whatever it was he had poked Lieberman with. "Maybe. Maybe not. That's the future," the man spat. "This is now. I'll be here tomorrow. You won't. I saw on the TV we're putting a man on the moon in a couple of days. Going to be right there live on television. Let me ask you. Are they sending NB-fucking-C TV up there to the moon? What the hell will you care? You'll be dead like my brother." "One of the other astronauts, Collins, Murphy, something," said Morrie. "He'll have a camera." The gunman's face was inches from Abe's now. He whispered, "Won't that be something to miss?" The gunman saw a movement over Lieberman's shoulder. He stepped to the side just in time to see the rabbi's son duck through a door behind his father and slam it shut. "Shit. Shit," said the gunman, shaking his head. "Now I gotta hurry. I didn't want to hurry. I wanted to stretch this, make you sweat, beg." "We don't beg," said Maish. "Give me the gun, Connie," said Abe wearily. "We've got a service to finish. We all have to get to work or to our families." The gunman stepped back, shaking his head and smiling. Then he started to laugh. "You got balls for a Jew. I give you that. But you'll be making 'em laugh in hell in a minute." Lieberman pulled his hand from behind his back holding the gun that Maish had pressed into it. The gun was small. Abe hoped it was loaded. "Give me the gun," Abe repeated. The gunman's mouth dropped open. He looked from the gun to the sad face of the thin policeman. "Like hell," he said leveling his own weapon at Abe Lieberman. "Looks like we're in for stormy weather." "I'm not waiting for it," said Lieberman. "Give me the gun." "Can you beat that?" Connie the gunman asked, looking around at the frightened faces of the men about him. "Can you beat that? Hell, I might as well shoot. Maybe we'll both die. No way I'm going back inside the walls, back inside and no evening-up for my brother." "Suit yourself," said Abe unsure of the weapon in his hand, concerned that a wild bullet might kill someone else in the small sanctuary. "A suggestion," said Rabbi Wass, behind Abe. "It better be a goddamn good one," said the gunman, looking into Lieberman's eyes. "We got ourselves one hell of a situation here and running out of time." "You put down your gun," Rabbi Wass said. "And Detective Lieberman lets you walk out. We all pretend you were never here. We thank God for having saved us and we praye to him to have mercy on you." "And he'll have mercy on me, your God?" Rabbi Wass shrugged. "Our God will do whatever he wants to do. We ask. He does what he wants to do." "Very damn reassuring," the gunman said. "Makes me feel all safe and comfortable. The hell with it." He raised his weapon at Abe, who did the same to him. "Let's get it on," the gunman said. "You're shickered," said Marv. "Drunk." "If I wasn't, I couldn't be doing this," the man shouted. "I'm going to shoot you in the eye," said Lieberman. "The right eye. That should be very painful, but it should work. You're shaking. You can't shoot straight and I'd say you haven't spent any time on the range. I've got a good chance of living and you've got a sure chance of dying. Think about it." The gun wavered in the man's hand. He chewed on his lower lip and considered his fate. "Hell," he said with a sigh. "I can't see Lance coming in here and doing this for me. He was always a selfish little prick, but don't tell my mom I said it." He backed toward the door. "Stop," said Lieberman. "Drop the gun." The man turned his weapon quickly away from Abe, aiming it at Rabbi Wass. "I'm going," he said. "Or I'm going to kill a priest." "I'm a rabbi," said Rabbi Wass. "We haven't had priests for almost two thousand years." Odds were, Lieberman calculated, that at this distance and shaking drunk the man with the gun might not hit Rabbi Wass. But then again, he might. Abe watched as the man stepped back to the door through which he had come, fumbled at the handle and opened it. "Forget I was here," he said. "I'll find a better time." He was looking at Abe now. "I'll come back sober. I'll come to your apartment. Your wife's got a baby growing in her. I'll come and pay your family a visit. Think about that. Lance wasn't much but he was my brother and I got to live with myself." "Who says?" said Morrie. The man with the gun went through the door and slammed it behind him. Abe ran to the door hearing the voices behind him, hearing his brother shout, "Abe, wait." Abe didn't wait. He went through the door. The gunman was running awkwardly down the synagogue's hallway toward the front door. Across the hall, the door to the main sanctuary was open. A group of men and women were talking in front of the small platform, the bimah, setting up flowers. One of the women turned and looked at Lieberman and the gun in his hand. Abe, tallis flying like a cape, yarmulke held down by his free hand, charged after the fleeing man who was now out the door and into the morning. The man looked, ran to his left and momentarily out of sight. Abe followed into a light morning drizzle. The man was running more slowly now, drunk, out of shape. He looked back at Abe, who leveled his weapon. There was no one on the street. People inside the houses adjoining the synagogue were just waking up. Abe was aware of a few cars moving down the street. "Stop," Abe called, not exactly a shout, more like a resigned call. The man stumbled forward, turned and fired a shot that went in the general direction of the dark clouds. Abe fired back. The bullet from the small gun hit the concrete sidewalk a few feet behind the now gasping man. The man turned, breathing heavily and lifted his gun. It was hard to read the look on his face, confusion, hate, maybe a little self-pity. Abe fired again and the man tripped backward and fell, his gun leaping from his hand and skittering down the sidewalk away from him. Abe stepped moved forward and stood over the fallen man, who was breathing heavily. "My leg," he said. "Damn, I picked the wrong day to do this." "Want your gun back?" Abe said evenly, aiming his weapon at the man's face. "My gun? I want an ambulance, a doctor. You shot me in the goddamn leg. I'm bleeding to death." "I'll give you your gun back and shoot you in the face if that will make you feel better," said Abe, hearing voices behind him coming out of the synagogue. "No more pain." "A doctor," the man said. Abe knelt next to the man and said, "I'm not a religious man, but that..." he said glancing back at the synagogue, "is where my father and brother pray, where my friends and their families feel safe. You made it dirty. You went to where I live and you came here and threatened my wife and daughter. I take umbrage at that. Can you blame me?" The man looking up at him shook his head "no." Footsteps were moving quickly toward the detective and the gunman now. "I'm calling an ambulance and I'm having you booked and when you get out, don't come here or anywhere near my home, my family or my brother's family. You understand? No questions. No discussions. I'll kill you." The man nodded, looking over Lieberman's shoulder at the men hurrying toward them tallises flying, a flock of Jew-birds swooping down on their prey. "I understand," the man said, closing his eyes. "It hurts. It goddamn hurts." "It's supposed to. It'll hurt for a few years," said Lieberman standing. "Then it'll go away. One more thing, Connie. I didn't shoot your brother. I was there but another cop did it." "Why didn't you just say that in there?" the man groaned. "Would you have believed me?" "No," said the man gritting his teeth, blood streaming from his leg. "You believe me now?" "No, yes. I don't know. My leg." "Abe," Maish called behind him. "Are you all right?" "Fine," said Abe, moving to pick up the gunman's fallen weapon by the barrel. "Someone call an ambulance and the police." "My son already called the police," said Rabbi Wass. "I'll call an ambulance," said Morrie, scurrying back to the synagogue. Abe looked at the men who had come to help him: Josh Kornpelt, Marv Stein and behind them old Cal Schwartz and the tenth man Morrie had pulled from the corridor, Mr. Green. They were shuffling forward clutching their prayer books. Rabbi Wass moved to the fallen, moaning intruder. "A gun in the synagogue?" Abe said to his brother reproachfully. "When did I ever have a gun?" Maish said, pointing to himself, his droopy face looking hurt. "It's mine," said Green. "He handed it to me," said Maish. "I passed it to you." Abe looked at the old man. "You have a permit for this?" "I was a cop," said Green. "Long time ago, but I was a cop. I got a permit." Abe was about to ask another question when he saw a tall, thin woman in her late thirties come running out of the synagogue holding a black hat on her head with the palm of her hand. The woman was heading for the men and screaming, "Pop." They all turned to watch her join them. Her hair was red, her eyes green and frightened. She looked at Abe who held two guns, at the fallen man, and at Mr. Green. "I'm a police officer," Abe said. "He is," said Rabbi Wass. "Pop," the woman said to Green. "What's going on? What happened to you? You go to the bathroom and get lost and then I find you out on the street with guns." "They needed me," said Green. "For what?" she asked. "We're here for Dolly's son's confirmation." "Bar mitzvah," said Marvin. "It's called a bar mitzvah." "That's why we're here," she said, ignoring Marvin. "I know," said Green. "But they needed me." "For what?" the woman demanded. "Prayers," Green said proudly. "They need ten men for prayers." "They need ten Jews for prayers, Pop. Ten Jews. You're Catholic." "They needed me." "My father's name is Patrick Ryan Green," the woman said in exasperation to the men around her as the drizzle stopped. "He doesn't count." "I think he does," said Maish. "Let's get to Dolly's boy's confir---bar mitzvah," she said, taking her father's arm and leading him back toward the synagogue. The man stopped abruptly and faced Abe. "Is it always like this?" Patrick Green asked. "Not always," said Abe. "When are you doing it again?" "Tomorrow," said Maish. "Can I come back?" asked Green. "Anyone's welcome," said Marvin. "Amen," said Cal Schwartz. "Pop," the woman said, rolling her eyes and leading her father away. "I'll get the gun back to you," called Abe. "Thanks." Green looked over his shoulder, smiled and said, "I'll pick it up tomorrow." Copyright (c) 2004 by Stuart M. Kaminsky Excerpted from The Last Dark Place by Stuart M. Kaminsky All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.