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Sunset (John Bekker, #1)
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Sunset (John Bekker #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Bekker, a former police officer sunk in the depths of despair and alcohol, is rescued by Crist, the mob boss he thinks had his wife killed ten years ago. Crist is near death, and has a final wish-- he hires Bekker to find out who really killed Bekker's wife, so that Crist can go to the grave with a clear conscience.
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published May 16th 2012 by Gale Cengage (first published May 1st 2012)
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Aug 26, 2014 Dave rated it really liked it
I love "P.I." Mysteries.
This is a good one!
Years ago, Detective John Bekker's wife was brutally killed, in view of their small daughter. The daughter is now in an institution, and Bekker has lived inside a bottle, as an alcoholic.
Now, the gangster Bekker was sure had his wife killed, has hired him, to find the real killer...
Bekker digs into the past, not sure what he will find...
Good stuff, and it reads fast...
I look forward to the next one!
Jan 12, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Ten years ago, John Bekker's wife was raped and murdered in front of their six year old daughter. The girl hasn't spoken since. John hasn't been sober since. Until the mob boss who was suspected of being behind the murder hires John to find the real killer.

I can't remember the last time I power-read anything. But I began this Friday evening and finished it today, and I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Chuck Bradley
Jan 31, 2013 Chuck Bradley rated it liked it
Good who-dunnit with a geriatric protagonist who emerges from a 12 year swim in Scotch bottles to solve the rape and murder of his wife witnessed by his daughter who's been in a vegetative state ever since. I enjoyed it as an entertaining and mentally undemanding read.
Joe O'c
May 06, 2013 Joe O'c rated it liked it
Very Good; Continuing character: John Bekker (first in series); an alcoholic ex-cop whose wife was murdered and daughter institutionalized is dried out by the mob boss he thought responsible for the attack who assures him not only didn't do it, he wants him to find out who did
Dana Dienno
Apr 25, 2013 Dana Dienno rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Kept me on the edge of my seat, I could not put it down until it was done. This is one of the best mystery/thriller books I have read in a long time!!! Unfortunately I can't talk about it without giving away the "good" stuff, the whole book is fantastic!!! :)
Karen Burgess
Feb 08, 2013 Karen Burgess rated it really liked it
Shelves: edgar-nominees
Super-fun book of its type, a great read. Up for Best Novel Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America. Read more here:
Aug 06, 2013 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. What a story!! I really didn't know if I would enjoy this book as it really isn't my normal genre. But once I started it I couldn't put it down! Well developed characters, action packed and twists I never saw coming! For anyone who loves a good murder mystery with mob ties you are going to really love this book. I am now a total John Bekker fan!!

Ex Police Detective John Bekker is an amazing character and in the beginning you fe
Jun 17, 2013 Silverblue rated it liked it
I actually like this book, except a man who was living in the bottle for more than 12 yrs goes cold turkey in 5 days flat, comes out clean, overpowers his assailants who work out day-in-day-out and kicks a**, outsmarts everyone! even in fiction it's a bit silly to imagine that. However, as usual, the human nature/condition rules: Cops go rogue for money, kill their friends and or their families and those who think they uphold the law and think they go after the rogue ones do the same for money b ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Jack rated it it was ok
Excellent writing, a real page-turner until until the end. Then, the hero is followed by a man who is a mall security guard. Hero confronts the guard, learns that he was hired by a man who identified himself as a state cop, and who promises the guard preferential treatment for a job for which he is on a waiting list. Then we learn that the hero's car has had a bomb attached while he's with the guard, and that hero's daughter has been threatened.

Hero then gets information that allows him to find
Nov 27, 2015 Irene rated it really liked it
Police detective John Bekker had it all: a beautiful wife, a five year old daughter and a job he loved. He was assigned to a special task force investigating organized crime. He got too close to mob boss, Eddie Crist. As a message to back off, Bekker's home was invaded and his daughter witnessed the brutal murder of her mother. For the last ten years, Bekker has been drunk living in a rundown trailer on the beach. After being forced to sober up he comes face to face with Crist who swears innocen ...more
Charles Biggs
Aug 17, 2015 Charles Biggs rated it really liked it
Al Lamanda's Sunset was the first one of his books that I've read and it definitely won't be the last. This is the type of crime mystery that's perfect for the many noise challenged locations we often have to suffer through. In this case I easily finished the book during one of my most recent 6 hour R/T nonstop cross country flights in a very cramped coach seat with countless screaming children of all ages.

The story line of Sunset builds on itself, characters are well developed, and there are j
Mar 04, 2013 KarenC rated it liked it
Recommended to KarenC by: Edgar nomination
"Routine" murder mystery with some twists. Bekker gets involuntarily pulled out of the alcoholic depths to solve his wife's murder after 12 years. Plenty of characters to look guilty, mob boss, crooked cops, good cops, donuts, sexual tension, obligatory sex, basically all the elements of a detective novel are included. The case is solved just in time. Lamanda develops a decent character & places him in a solid atmospheric setting. Entertaining read that shouldn't have taken me as long as it ...more
May 15, 2015 Stan rated it really liked it
Bekker is a character who will feel familiar to anyone who's enjoyed Parker's Spenser or Child's Reacher. The plot is intriguing: Bekker is enlisted to solve his own wife's murder, by the very mob boss everyone believes to have been responsible for the murder. The prose is concise and engaging, and the book reads fast. My only issue -- (nitpicker alert) -- is a certain carelessness in the writing, with occasional grammatical awkwardness or inconsistency in stated details.
Jan 31, 2015 Geni rated it it was ok
This novel is a compelling read despite all of its rough spots, including a man, drunk for a decade, who suffers no liver damage and is in remarkably good physical shape, the plot device that starts the story too convoluted to believe (the omniscient, powerful mob guy who hires the clueless, grieving, wasted drunk ex-cop to solve his mystery), too many crooked cops to count, incredibly clunky stabs at writing sexy passages, and pathetic wise-guy comments scattered among the dialogue. 2.5 stars
Jun 21, 2014 Jo-anne rated it liked it
I had no expectations of this book so I was pleasantly surprised that it captured my interest so quickly. It was a bit predictable but still kept me reading to see if I had guessed correctly. I will check out other books by this author.
Walt Mccluskey
Jun 17, 2016 Walt Mccluskey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A totally different story than what I expected and one of the best string of events and turns to keep you interested and wanting to see the next part. I will read others by the author to see if this was a fluke or his typical writing. If his writing, he has a fan.
Aug 30, 2013 Harvey rated it it was ok

some rough edges and cliches in the writing but interesting characters. I will seek out the next in series
Dec 09, 2013 Shirley rated it really liked it
If you like a good murder mystery and mob story, you will like this book. My second book by this author and will not be the last.
Jul 08, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing
This is the first work by Al Lamanda that I have read. It is an engaging mystery about a police detective who suffers a tragic loss, his decent into alcoholism and the path to redemption.
Nov 17, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it
Well-done hard-boiled detective with a heart mystery. Great characters, likable. Humor blended with tragedy. Nice, taciturn style.
Kevin Egan
Whoa. No mystery why this was nominated for an Edgar.
TrishO rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2015
James W Whitney
James W Whitney rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2016
Donna rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2014
Dec 26, 2012 Tim added it
Quite good.
Dawn rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2015
Jack rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2015
Aleta rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2013
Tucker rated it liked it
Feb 05, 2016
Shannon rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2012
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Al Lamanda was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. He worked for many years as a private investigator and crime prevention specialist. He has authored five published novels, two feature films with another under option and more than a dozen books for Kindle.
More about Al Lamanda...

Other Books in the Series

John Bekker (4 books)
  • Sunrise  (John Bekker, #2)
  • First Light (John Bekker, #3)
  • This Side of Midnight (John Bekker, #4)

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