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Family Values

(Mario Balzic Detective Mystery #13)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  12 reviews
When a 17-year-old murder case rears its head, Balzic hears a variety of stories about a drug deal gone wrong and two bodies in a cabin. The fading, twisty trail leads him to a corrupt small-town police chief, now immobilised by a stroke.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Grand Central Publishing (first published February 1997)
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3.70  · 
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 ·  71 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars - The Rocksburg / Balzic series is a unique beast. The books seem to be tossed into the mystery section based more on the central character's job then on what actually takes place in the books. In most other mystery books, the scenario would be a man walks into a bar and offers our hero a job. Then, it's all about the job. With Constantine, Mario's family relationship is just as important, if not more important, than the job. The job gets us to the center of Mario's marriage. So, we sp ...more
Jeremy Hornik
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
And reread again. Wow, is Constantine good... on class, on sex. Gorier and dirtier than usual, because it shows the main character to be something of a prude. A retired police chief...

Mario Balzic is in retirement, fighting with his wife, when a state AG hires him to investigate an old case. The killer has an alibi he's finally talking about. And that's good, that's all good, but what's really good is the depth: the relations between men and women, between men and work, between rich and poor, b
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
There was nothing special about the story, dialogue, characters etc. In fact it was a bit sad. Told a story of a sadistic police chief that railroaded people and ruined their lives. But the interesting part was the book had no chapters. It was just 300 pages of words divided into paragraphs. Every once in a While there was extra white space between paragraphs, but other than that, no pause in the story. It made it hard to put it down -there was no place to take a break. Can't say I liked the sty ...more
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Has dialogue ever been so riveting? With few exceptions, K.C. Constantine's books are outstanding. This one could be the grittiest of the lot. The Walczinsky family at the heart of this story are among the sickest and saddest fictional characters you'll encounter anywhere. And all this horror and tragedy is beautifully framed between domestic scenes of Mario and Ruth Balzic's struggles to cope with his retirement. The chats between the two go on and on and on, and you don't want them to stop eit ...more
K.C. Constantine – 13th in series
Retired police chief Mario Balzic as been asked to come out of retirement to investigate a special case from 17 years ago when a drug deal went bad and two pushers were killed. The man convicted of the crime insists he is innocent and has proof to back his claim.

I could not get into this book at all; the characters were confusing and uninteresting. I found myself putting it down and not being interested enough to pick it up again.
Rogue Reader
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another solid from KC Constantine. Balzic is retired and he and Ruth are driving each other crazy so he takes a contract job. What he discovers is unmentionable, and unbearable - only Ruth's love and care and good sex distract him from sinking into a morass. As always splendid dialect and insight, local small town Pennsylvania is perfect. Only two meals described this time, and not to much detail. A great read.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
#13 in the Mario Balzic / Rocksburg, PA series.

Mario Balzic is approached by a deputy Attorney General to be a special investigator for the State Justice Department and look into the evidence for a post-conviction hearing of a seventeen year old multiple murder during a drug deal. Mario makes the rounds interviewing the involved parties and peeling the layers of conflicting stories.
Josh McDevitt-Spall
A fine crime novel, and an entertaining read. Wish it were broken into chapters as it seems to be most digestible in chunks. A decent mystery that never strives to be more than it is. It's basically any of TV's innumerable police procedurals in book form.
Apr 13, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
F 813.54 CONS
Mar 07, 2011 marked it as to-read
Stephen King recommended.
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Carl Constantine Kosak is an American mystery author known for his work as K.C. Constantine. Little is known about Kosak, as he prefers anonymity and has given only a few interviews. He was born in 1934 and served in the Marines in the early 1950s. He lives in Greensburg PA with wife Linda.

Other books in the series

Mario Balzic Detective Mystery (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Rocksburg Railroad Murders (Mario Balzic Detective Mystery, #1)
  • The Man Who Liked To Look At Himself (Mario Balzic Detective Mystery #2)
  • The Blank Page (Mario Balzic Detective Mystery #3)
  • A Fix Like This
  • Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes (Mario Balzic Detective Mystery #5)
  • Always a Body to Trade (Mario Balzic Detective Mystery #6)
  • Upon Some Midnights Clear
  • Joey's Case
  • Sunshine Enemies
  • Bottom Liner Blues
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