Cover image for The criminalist
The criminalist
Izzi, Eugene.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
341 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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Terry Moran is a cop whose rapid rise in the department came to a crashing halt when he was accused of butchering his brother's wife. The accusation alone was enough to destroy a promising career, and now, twenty years later, he is a pariah among his peers; a lost and broken soul merely going through the motions of living and operating from the depths of his despair. Then the body of a young woman is discovered in an alleyway in a downtown commercial district--savagely slain with a gaping hole where her heart heart should be--and the all-consuming flames of supicion are feuled once more.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A young hooker is found brutally butchered in a downtown Chicago alley. The case bears an eerie similarity to the unsolved murder of a young woman 20 years earlier. The primary suspect then was Tom Moran, a young cop and the brother-in-law of the victim. Dominick DiGrazio was one of two lead investigating officers on the case. His partner, Mike Schmidt, became obsessed with the crime and drank himself into early retirement when he couldn't gain a conviction. There are details in the current case only the original killer or those officers closest to the case could know. All the old players are recast in a revival of the old case. The husband of the first victim, Terry Moran, is now a prominent psychiatrist. His second wife, Ellen, married him shortly after the demise of wife number one. DiGrazio pairs up with Janice Constantine, a veteran street officer who was first on the scene. Schmidt is thrust back into the limelight and uses his forum--plus his theft of all the original case notes--to muddy DiGrazio's investigation. Izzi, the late Chicago author who used his hometown as a setting for all his best work, weaves in the Windy City politics that invariably intrude in any high-profile case. If this is Izzi's last published work--assuming other manuscripts won't be unearthed--it makes an appropriate sign-off: tough cops, corrupt cops, dirty politics, a psycho killer, and the inescapable burdens of the past. One of Izzi's best. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Everything that made the late Izzi (A Matter of Honor, 1997; Tribal Secrets, 1992) a spellbinding crime writer is present in this harrowing swan song of a novel. Unfortunately, all the minor narrative irritants that prevented the author from reaching bestseller status are also in evidence. As is usual in an Izzi caper, there are good and bad cops, extensive reflectiveness, little humor evident in the prose or in the characters, and a rollercoaster of a tale that comes close to sweeping all such critical quibbles aside. In the 20 years since Nancy Moran was brutally murdered, her doctor husband Tom has remarried; his brother Terry, who was a suspect, is a psychotic beat cop no one wants to work with; another brother, Frank, is a homeless drunk and also a witness to a new murder and mutilation that very closely resembles Nancy's. Both deaths were horrible, and both threaten to destroy the Moran family. Dominick DiGrazia is the good cop assigned the case, with his new partner, Janice Constantine; Mike Schmidt is the retired burnout and former partner of DiGrazia who was certain that Tom was Nancy's killer. In the psychiatric clinic that Tom Moran directs, a killer named Eddie wanders into a nightly group therapy meeting; his contributions to the discussion increase the suspense quotient. Izzi barrels through the narrative with his usual panache‘the scattergun dialogue revealing an unflinching vision of lives twisted by abuse. There are a few too many loose ends and an excess of psychobabble, but with this tale, Izzi departs the crime fiction scene as raw, as flawed and as galvanizing a writer as he entered it 17 books ago. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

From a writer whose own recent death was reportedly as bizarre as those he crafted comes another gritty mystery about a cop once accused of a terrible murder who finds himself under suspicion again. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.