Kind of Blue – A hard-boiled police procedural

kindofblueI received a Review Copy of Miles Corwin’s Crime Novel debut from Oceanview Publishing. The book will be published November 1st and is already available for pre-order at large Internet book shops.

Hard-boiled fiction

I have my reservation about hard-boiled crime fiction. It is often to macho for me. Female characters are rare and… well let´s just say a bit stereotypish… I do, however, like the I-point of view, the  gloomy view of the world and the cut to the chase language.


Ash Levine is a  Jewish ex-cop and a loner who quit the LAPD, filled with guilt, after one of his witnesses was murdered. Now an ex-cop has been killed and the Top Chief wants the best of the best. To get the best they convince Levine to come back to the force. The hunt for the killer is brutal and filled with gangsters, questionable witnesses and squealers.


The driving scenes are numerous and you totally understand why California must be the most car-dependent city in the world. The scenes with Levine’s Jewish family is both a bit funny and sad.. It is funny with Levine’s overprotecting mother and sad because you realize how many people still are affected by the holocaust. Levine has to fight demons from his family’s past, his own past as a soldier in the Israeli army and the guilt of failing to protect his witness. 

Background Miles Corwin

It is not a cheerful reading and I´m afraid the corruption and racism in the police force is a part of the reality in the real world as well – even if most of the police detectives of course are honest and hard working. The author should know what he is talking about since he, as a journalist for LA Times,  has written two non-fictional books (Killing Season and Homicide Special) about the police force after getting access to the departments detective units.


jazz_miles_davisCorwins language is perfect for the mood in the book. “It was a warm evening, and as I rolled down my window, the breeze kicked up dust along the gutter. The gritty smell of the dust cut with the faint scent of orange blossoms suggested something that I couldn´t quite recall, an event hovering at the fringe om my memory. I closed my eyes for a moment.” The Miles Davis record Kind of Blue that Levine plays over and over again also help set the mood. I put it on while reading the book and it made the reading experience even better. 

Female portraits

As I said earlier, the women are often stereotypes in hard-boiled fiction and this book is not an exception… There has to be a way to integrate believable female characters in male hard-boiled fiction. We already know that there are good female hard-boiled books. Paretsky and Grafton already proved that in the 80s so why not combine them? However, I have seen far worse in other books and I can live with it in this book because the rest of the book is so great.

I really enjoyed the book with only one reservation (See above) and I believe Corwin is headed for success with this book.

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