Levine (Collection) (1984) – Mysterious Press

But is the policeman not flesh? Doth he not bleed? Hasn’t he in his lifetime buried grandparents, parents? Isn’t he aware of his own mortality? It was the idea of a cop, a police detective, who was so tensely aware of his own inevitable death that he wound up hating people who took the idea of death frivolously that led me to Abe Levine.

from the author’s Introduction

Levine is an episodic saga, a series of six novellas (including one written expressly for this volume) laying open for examination the life of a Brooklyn cop, a man dedicated to his job and living in constant fear of the moment when his ailing heart will finally stop.

Each of the stories is a gem of police procedure and pits Levine against the full assortment of activities which makes up a policeman’s lot–from talking a jumper off a ledge to dealing with a child who believes her mother to be a murderer to facing a mob gunman on a deserted spit of land. With every step Levine takes, with every confrontation, he listens to the sound of his own heart–to judge his actions as well as to record the missing beats, waiting for the one he won’t hear.

–from the dust jacket of the first edition hardcover




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