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414 pages, Hardcover
First published May 1, 2007
“Nothing is clear about the upcoming Reversion, and that is why these are strange times to be a Jew.”
“None of you yids is even going to be a policeman two months from now.”
“Men tend to cry, in Landsman’s experience, when they have been living for a long time with a sense of rightness and safety, and then they realise that all along, just under their boots, lay the abyss. That is part of the policeman’s job, to jerk back the pretty carpet that covers over the deep jagged hole in the floor.”
“She spoke more highly of you than I would have imagined.”
“The Bureau first recruited him [Hertz] in the fifties to fight Communists and the Yiddish Left, which, though fractious, was strong, hardened, embittered, suspicious of Americans, and, in the case of the former Israelis, not especially grateful to be here...Hertz wiped them out. He fed the socialists to the Communists, and the Stalinists to the Trotskyites, and the Hebrew Zionists to the Yiddish Zionists, and when feeding time was over, he wiped the mouths of those still standing and fed them to each other. Starting in the late sixties, Hertz was turned loose on the nascent radical movement among the Tinglit [Indians], and in time he pulled its teeth and claws, too.”
“She can shape them [cases] with confidence into narratives that hold together and make sense. She does not solve cases so much as tell the stories of them.”
“‘We are telling a story, Cashdollar. That’s what we do...That’s all the poor suckers want.’ Only he didn’t say ‘suckers’...
“We are part of the story. You. Me…
“I know enough about Landsman here - fuck, I know enough about homicide detectives period - to know that...this is not about finding out the truth. It’s not about getting the story right. Because you and I, we know, gentlemen, that the story is whatever we decide it is, and however nice and neat we make it, in the end a story is never going to make a damn bit of difference to the dead. What you want, Landsman, is to pay those fuckers back.”
“To the southwest a full moon was setting early, sharp-edged and gray, looking like a high-resolution black-and-white photograph of itself pasted to the sky.”