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A cold case by Philip Gourevitch

A cold case (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Philip Gourevitch

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167771,264 (3.28)7
Title:A cold case
Authors:Philip Gourevitch
Info:New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001.
Collections:Your library
Tags:true crime, nonfiction, read in 2012

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A Cold Case by Philip Gourevitch (2001)



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
True crime is a genre I rarely, if ever, read so I don't know how common a feature this is, but the retelling of events with quotations from the people involved reminded me of 'dramatised documentary' programmes on TV where actors portray something described by a 'talking head' expert or similar. Interesting.

Best quote, from lawyer Murray Richman:
"Murder's my favorite. I love murder. Always one less witness to worry about."
  stevejwales | Apr 26, 2013 |
This is the story of a man who murdered three people in New York City, but whose whereabouts fell off the radar so he was needlessly declared "dead" in order to close this case. Many years later, a New York City detective decides that this case needs to be re-opened because he does not feel that the murderer was really dead. The case is reopened and the murderer is eventually found. This is the story. It's quick and easy to read, but reads more like a magazine article than a nonfiction book. I found the description of the detective much more interesting than that of the murderer. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Dec 10, 2012 |
Concise, crisp account of a cop who succeeds in closing a cold case, a double homicide. The perp seems to be a true psychopath who never really feels remorse for his crime, only regret that he finally got caught. It was a New Yorker article and has that feel. Not great, but good. ( )
  piemouth | Nov 3, 2012 |
A Cold Case" is a gripping profile of two men on opposite sides of the law: Andy Rosenzweig, a good cop and Frank Koehler, a cold-blooded killer. The title refers to a low-profile, long-buried 27 year-old homicide case that the system let slip through its fingers: a double murder of two men shot dead in cold blood in 1970 in New York by small-time gangster Frank Koehler. Koehler vamoosed and the case-file grew cold. Rosenzweig re-activated the case in 1997.

Gourevitch's well-written book is unusual in so far as there is no mystery as to the identity of the killer which is known to us from the outset and no doubt about how the killings occurred. Gourevitch's focus rather, centres on building profiles of Rosenzweig and Koehler, the key players in the drama, opening up their minds and lives, tapping into the forces and influences that shaped these men to be who (and what) they are: Andy Rosenzweig, the dedicated cop; Frank Koehler, the "connected" hoodlum. Gourevich's portrayal of Koehler's criminal mentality and Rosenzweig's dedication to upholding the law, fascinating in itself, vividly depicts the criminal underbelly of New York as it existed in the 60's. ( )
  michaelmurphy | Apr 25, 2010 |
This true crime novel offers an inspiring story of Detective Andy Rosenzweig's thorough work. ( )
  kivarson | Nov 25, 2009 |
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If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together, who could escape hanging? / Mark Twain
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On november 15, 1944, an Army deserter named Frank Gilbert Koehler was arrested for burglary in New York City, Frankie, as he liked to be called, had no criminal record.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312420021, Paperback)

Frank Koehler was only 15 when he shot a friend in the back for double-crossing him. That's the sort of guy he was--violent, Mob-connected, and remorse-free. In the same rough-and-tumble postwar neighborhood on Manhattan's West Side lived a very different young man: Andy Rosenzweig, rigorously straight and determined to become a policeman at a time when cops were more likely to be taking naps or bribes than nabbing criminals. Years later, in 1970, Koehler murdered two men after an argument in a restaurant. One of the victims was a friend of Rosenzweig's. It was a straightforward case, but in a typical show of the NYPD's ineptitude, the case was closed when someone decided to declare Koehler dead, allowing him to slip away.

Twenty-seven years after the murders, on the eve of Rosenzweig's retirement as chief of investigations, he reopened the case, determined not to leave without catching the murderer of his friend. Philip Gourevitch, who last examined murder in the award-winning We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, is more interested in the personalities of killers and those who pursue them than the drama of murder itself. As a result, A Cold Case is short on tension, but it is an excellent character study. Gourevitch immerses us in the "white hoodlum milieu of another time and from a city which no longer really exists," and he conjures up the particular moral universe of each character--Rosenzweig; murder victim Richie Glennon, an ex-prizefighter who walked the fence between the good guys and the bad guys; Murray Richman, the Mob-defending lawyer from the Bronx who likes murder cases because there's "one less witness to worry about"; and Koehler himself, now elderly but still unremorseful. Gourevitch's skillful handling raises intriguing contradictions and questions, not least this one Koehler asks about himself: "Why would people still think good of this asshole?" Now, that's a story. --Lesley Reed

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"A few years ago, Andy Rosenzweig, chief investigator for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, was abruptly reminded of an old double homicide: a friend from his youth, a former prizefighter, had been murdered along with another man in 1970. It bothered Rosenzweig that the killer had eluded capture for nearly three decades. He resolved to track down the fugitive and - if he was still alive - to close the case." "Philip Gourevitch brings together the story of Rosenzweig's pursuit with an account of the killer's criminal personality and his decades on the lam. A Cold Case carries us deep into the lives and minds, the passions and perplexities, of two extraordinary men who embody opposing but quintessentially American codes of being - that of the lawman and that of the outlaw. Set in a New York City milieu that has all but disappeared, and written with a keen ear for the vibrant idiom of the men and women who once peopled its streets, this is a book for our times, written with a force and immediacy that compel attention."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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