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City Of The Dead
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City Of The Dead

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  188 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Most cops question the living. But New York City's Chief Medical Examiner Paul Konig finds his answers among the dead. Now, after a lifetime of strangled whores and mangled corpses, Konig thinks he has seen it all--until he comes up against a series of brutal sex crimes that are carving a bloody path across the battered city.

Piece by piece. he begins to put together a pict
Published 1977
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Graham P
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a gut-punch of a novel, a soot-stained love letter to New York City in the 1970s. It is a book leveled off in three elements - 1.) a murder mystery as Chief Medical Examiner, Paul Konig (and like another reader mentioned, I imagined a grizzled George C. Scott in the role), tries to discover the identities of two mutilated and cut-up bodies found in the muck of the East River - 2.) a suspense thriller as Konig tries to find his daughter who fell in with a bunch of militant misfits, and is ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Gruesome murders, political pressure, back stabbing and character assassination in the office, corruption in high places and the Chief Medical Examiner is on knife’s edge, (and we won’t mention that his daughter has been kidnapped and tortured, he is keeping that to himself), the tension is imploding! This is a gripping yet somewhat grey and gritty picture of life in New York in the 70’s; the decay, the despair, the crime that is relentless and ever more sinister and sickening. Lieberman’s Paul ...more
Kristine Muslim
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the BEST book I have ever read. I have reread it more than 10 times since I was a teenager. Why? First, it does in one book what Patricia Cornwell, Susan Hill, and Dennis Lehane can do with all of their books combined. I have read hundreds of crime novels over the years. City of the Dead is the gold standard. There's nothing quite like it. Second, the story changes each time you reread it. Its urban setting breathes down your throat. The emotional undercurrents make you wince. It is intr ...more
Debbie Krenzer
I received this book free in exchange for a review from Net Galley.

This was the first book by this author that I have read which according to the previous reviews, I have waited too long to read him.

I found this book to be an incredible insight as to the daily life of a medical examiner. This book was VERY graphic about the forensic details involved. While a little squeamish at times, it was very enlightening.

The second story about the story of a lonely man whose daughter was kidnapped and now w
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book review originally published here:

City of The Dead is one of the grittiest crime novels I’ve read in a while. Paul Konig is Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, which means he spends most of his time with the dead. His job has taken the best of him for many years – his marriage failed, his wife eventually passed away, his daughter won’t speak to him anymore, and overall, he’s lost most of the things he loves. But this new case is particularly grue
Liz Barnsley
This story follows one man, the Chief medical examiner of New York City, Paul Konig over several days of his life.

It is a quirky and slightly different crime read for me which I enjoyed but I have to admit not as much as usual for this genre. It was gritty, the characterisation was excellent and yet it still didnt quite do it for me. The story follows Paul Konig as he deals with the kidnap of his daughter and various other issues and it is extremely well written - other reviewers have said its b
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery and thriller fans
CITY OF THE DEAD is an interesting read. It's a typical crime investigation novel, but it takes place in the 1970s, so instead of the high-tech DNA sequencing and facial recognition we're all familiar with through tv shows, this is tough, boots on the ground grunt work. Paul Koenig is the chief medical examiner in New York, and he deals with gritty, dirty death every day. He's out of shape and over-stressed, and in this story, he comes up against a murder that he may not be able to solve, while ...more
Un polar. Un vrai. Une autre vision de New York en nuances presque monochromes, du noir au rouge en passant par le gris et la crasse. Plusieurs lignes d'intrigue, toutes aussi prenantes. Le légiste en chef de New York, corruption, politique et jeux de pouvoir, ambition, complots et trahisons. Un grand homme en bout de course, épuisé, brillant et seul. Reconstitution de cadavres en morceaux et recherche désespérée de leur meurtrier. Désespoir de la disparition de sa fille, chantage, violence... e ...more
Cheryl M-M
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was first published in the 70s and it hasn't received the recognition it deserves.
Think Tempe Brennan or Kay Scarpetta but male, old and grumpy.
Lieberman has created a character walking the tightrope of emotional instability, constant professional pressure and his fear of loss.
The main character Konig finds himself wandering between nostalgic moments of reminiscence, whilst dancing the game of internal politics and to top it all off his daughter is missing.
It is dark and certain parts leave
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
City of the Dead was apparently re-released with a new cover. Which is great! Except that I didn't realize it had been previously published, and spent much of it wondering why on earth you'd choose to set your police procedural in the 1970s.

Much has been said for the gritty, unflinching descriptions of crime and violence, and they're definitely worth remarking on - but that's really all I found remarkable about the book. The central mystery isn't engaging enough and the characters seemed a bit
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.
1st Read: February 2, 1997 - February 18, 1997
This story held my interest for the first few chapters, but it couldn't maintain it throughout. It was really too bad, as it was one of the books I remember my Mom reading when I was about eight years old. I would love to try and get into this book again, although, after the winter thaw and spring torrential rains, Mom's basement flooded. A few boxes of books and other things were damaged beyond repair, including this book.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The original (English title) of this book is City of the Dead. And by it you probably think now that it is zombie novel. But it isn't. Never. It is a story of New York City Chief Medical Examiner whose daughter has been kidnapped and... Just read it yourself. This is the first novel that I ever read, and I loved every chapter of it which has made me feel giddy and harrowed now and then. But its melodramatic theme is the main reason I loved it and ranked it as one of my favorites.
Pascal Brebion
Un beau roman noir construit autour de son personnage principal, le médecin légiste en chef de la ville de New York. Attention ce n’est pas un « page-turner » : c’est sobre, sombre et parfois cru. Les fondamentaux du roman noir, millésime 1977. A lire lorsqu’on est vraiment amateur du genre car c’est un classique, mais il est clair que ça ne plaira pas à tout le monde.
Laurent De Serres Berard
This book was a strange read. There is an ongoing tension, where the author expressed well the simultenuous weight and numbness that the mystery of the daughter bring. The character development is imperceptible, but you can only suppose it is there when you reach the end. It'S a book that didn't fabricated it's end, exploring the different facades of a state of mind.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lilia by: Psychologies Magazine 08-2016
Un récit extrêmement riche et brillant de la vie et des déboires d'un immense médecin légiste et son équipe à NYC. Dans une prose superbe et détaillée, l'auteur passe en revue tous les aspects d'un métier encore méconnu par le grand-public, médecin légiste : la médecine pratiquée après la mort, les autopsies, les activités dans une morgue pour des fins juridiques etc... le tout dans un New York glauque des années 70 où la vie dans la ville tumultueuse est décrite avec moult détails, rendus encor ...more
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
This should have been a solid 4-stars. The story is good. The characters are finely drawn. The pacing is spot on. The only problem is that the author has an annoying habit of making lists of things.

The character sees people in the park--the author lists about seven or eight types of people.

The character enters an apartment house--the author lists seven or eight different smells and seven or eight different sounds and seven or eight different indicators of how run down the apartment house is. (
Emma Kerry
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was initally released i the 70s, but has had far less attention than it deserves. Punchy writing, fascinating detail and perfectly drawn characters makes this book as good as, if not better, than a lot of the books in the crime fiction genre.

I won't go into the story in detail, as I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I recommend it to anyone who likes crime fic.
Le bouquin commence bien dans un univers que j'affectionne (New York, la médecine légale) avec des personnages qui sortent de l'ordinaire (pas de playboy quadra ... enfin !) mais à la fin, on a envie de dire : tout ça pour ça !
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Le livre qui m'a fait aimer le genre policier. J'ai du le lire pour l'école, et je n'ai jamais regretté.
May 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ya, I didn't like this one. Didn't care for any of the characters or the story. I did however appreciate the ending.
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The author of Crawlspace, City of the Dead, The Climate of Hell, and several other acclaimed novels, Herbert Lieberman is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a winner of France’s coveted Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.
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