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Bronx Requiem

(James Beck #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The death of Paco "Packy" Johnson shouldn't have surprised anyone.

Paco Johnson spent a lifetime in the system -- starting in juvie at age 10, then prison for most of his adult life. But he managed to make some real friends in prison, friends who helped him get parole, a place to stay, and plans to help him adjust to a life outside prison after seventeen years behind bars.
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Minotaur Books (first published March 29th 2016)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a terrific and entertaining thrill ride of a novel with morally ambiguous central characters. However, it took me a little while to get into it before I was completely hooked. James Beck is a former cop, falsely convicted of murder and spent several years in prison. Whilst incarcerated, he was saved by Paco Johnson, a man who lived most of his life locked up. They became close friends and once on the outside, James does all that he could to ensure Paco got parole. Paco is murdered in the ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bronx Requiem by John Clarkson is a 2016 Minotaur Books publication.

This story is a prototype of the traditional, tried and true crime story, but has a modern hardboiled tone and stylishness to it. While the plot is original, intricate and fast paced, the characterizations are what really stand out here.

Flawed characters are always more interesting, and there are plenty of those to go around. Still, they have redeemable qualities and are easy to root for and even care about. There is plenty of
Judy D Collins
Goodreads Book Giveaway Contest March 1-15. Enter to Win 1 (of 3) Hardcover copies signed by the author.

5 Stars + Top 50 Books of 2016

Talented crime writer, John Clarkson returns following the sensational thriller, Among Thieves (2015) with my favorite tough guy, James Beck, (My hero) who runs a slick operation in Red Hook, Brooklyn- who offers employment, and second chances to those undergoing injustices of the system along with the help of his fellow ex-cons . .

Cindy Burnett
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bronx Requiem is one of the best books I have read in 2016. James Beck is a flawed, unique, highly-likeable protagonist who operates with his group of ex-cons in the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn. In this installment, Paco “Packy” Johnson has just been released from prison with the help of Beck and his associates after spending most of his life behind bars. Years previously, Packy helped Beck survive prison and come out the system unscathed. As a result, Beck feels he owes Packy a great debt ...more
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good story and good action in the second entry in the James Beck series. At least as good as the first book, maybe better I could definitely see it as a good action thriller movie. This came out in 2016 and I see there's been nothing more from this author, that is a shame as I want to read more. 4 stars ...more
Chris Callahan
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
(4+)-High intensity, hard-boiled, meat and potatoes crime fiction. The author writes with authority about prison life, the mean streets of NYC, brawls, gun battles and unlikely escapes from tight situations. Fans of Lee Child and George Pelecanos might appreciate this author's style and it was a great read for me, even when the action got a little surreal at times towards the end of the book. I appreciated the way the author wrote clearly, making a complex plot easy to follow. Those who are put ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy from netgalley.

Greatly enjoyed the first book in the series and Clarkson delivers another great crime novel here thanks in part to the excellent cast of James Beck and the ex-cons he has taken under his wing. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment.

The CurvyJones
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-2016
Full review to come-- well rounded, action packed sensational read though!
Cheryl Simmons
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would have given this book one star, but I did finish it, so I guess it deserves two. Violent, unbelievable characters, and an unbelievable plot - not s recommended read.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure about Beck. This is vigilante justice in the extreme. Very character driven, with little attention to the surroundings, weather or anything that brings the moment into focus. All police are not bad and not sure how many murders he and his pals can commit without being caught. A Robin Hood killer
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent....I enjoyed the characters. Loved how John captures you and it's difficult to put down...couldn't sleep until I finished it last night...I'm getting the first book and hopefully this is a series so I can see Beck and Crew again..would love to see this as a tv show. Great read. ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining, but not as quite as good as the first in the series. James Beck is a dark version of Robin Hood, with with tribe of merrymen; they're tight as thieves, and willing to do whatever it takes to take revenge and right a wrong. Perfect storytelling for a snowy night.

Looking for quick gritty read, with a protagonist that doesn't always fall into usual lines, this might be for you.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked this largely because it wasn't that predictable and the characters were interesting. No character was pure good guy or bad guy. You had a lot of flawed characters, some more than others but nobody was perfect. Read more like a detective novel without the detective leading the charge. ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really great New York-noir. Reminded me of Andrew Vachs' Burke-novels. ...more
Elite Group
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Raw, violent, fast-paced crime novel.

James Beck is an ex con. James Beck is a cop killer. James Beck is a bad guy – except he’s not. The (anti)hero of the plot is certainly an enigma. He’s done time in jail for killing a cop but his conviction was overturned. He has collected together a group of ex-convicts who are specialists in their own field – even if that field is breaking heads open, and he is anxious to bring his good friend into the group.

Paco “Packy” Johnson helped Beck survive in pris
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Nearly two years after reading Among Thieves, where I questioned whether I would give the James Beck series another chance, I chose to pick up Book Two. It is a pretty straightforward story that provides a bit more background on James Beck that was lacking from the first installment. With just a few words, Packy Johnson saved Beck from going crazy in prison, but gets himself killed the same night he's released and before Beck can see his friend to get him into the fold of his post-incarceration ...more
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I really liked Among Thieves, the first Beck novel, with its ever so likable band of bad guy antiheros that right the wrongs of some not so likable bad guys. Well, this one not nearly as much. Beck and his loyal band of ex cons are back and once again righting wrongs, but this one just did not pull me in. I am not sure if it was entirely the storyline and contrived dialogue that was to blame or the horrible narrator ( this was an audible version), who tried way too hard to produce voi ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
No doubt this book was action packed from beginning to end. There was a clear cut outline from the beginning and I neeeeeded to know what actually happened to Packy. There was a lot of in depth violence, so for the faint or weak, this book would not be for them. I enjoyed the involvement of multiple characters and the way they were all tied together at the end. That being said, I think there were too many characters being tossed around to the point where it could have became confusing. Not only ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Clarkson lives up to the promise of James Beck's first book. The pace is unrelenting and the action brutal and authentic. The cast of characters, all with shades of the underworld, show the brutality of existence. James Beck and his friends, all with prison life behind them, show the redeemable side of human nature, pitted against the worst kind of low life. At stake is the life of a beautiful prostitute, the daughter of Beck's murdered best friend. A corrupt set of police detectives makes ...more
Tarsha Steel
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was a bit different from the usual thriller/police procedural because in this case the people investigating the murder, apart from the police, were his friends from his prison days. The reader of this book needs to determine whether they think that these friends are the good guys or are bad guys - there is a lot of violence but not too bloodthirsty, I think - certainly nothing like the ones about forensic pathologists like Bones or Kay Scarpetta!
I felt like there was enoug
Martha Brindley
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get into this book but I am glad I stuck with it. An original and fast paced plot with plenty flawed characters and twists to interest the reader.James Beck is a very unique character who operates with a group of ex convicts in New York. There is a high body count, corrupt cops and prison guards and a prostitution ring, making this a very good thriller. Many thanks to Net Galley for my copy.
Robert J.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent follow up to the author's first Beck novel

This is the second book I've read by Clarkson. The first was his first Beck book which I read pretty much non-stop. I did the same with this one. Fast and a bit hard to believe but based on statistics for abused and lost children, probably not far from the truth. Beck is not quite a super hero, pretty human with some great friends that help him big time. I greatly enjoyed this one and I hope the author writes many more.
Joe O'Connor
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent; Continuing character: James Beck; Beck plans to meet a just paroled convict who helped him in prison, but before he can the man is gunned down; he and his crew work to determine the culprit while trying to save the convict's daughter, who is being prostituted by a gang, and avoid an over zealous cop
Mark Reynolds
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun entertainment, but not great literature. Similar to Macdonald’s Travis McGee, in that James Beck is a good guy who uses questionable means to get his good stuff done. But there’s none of the philosophizing about life that makes Trav so enjoyable. Beck also has a crew, and they all are very violent - described in detail - which makes it more of an action book.
Lindsey Cattau
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book took 250 out of 400 pages to catch my interest. In fact, I almost gave up on it. It was very slow. But the last 150 pages were great. I wish it would not have taken so long to build up. It's a frustrating tale of police corruption and problems with out country's mass incarceration. Although it is clearly a work of fiction, these are real issues. ...more
Bobby Panichella
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love the way John Clarkson writes,I'v read his 1st the novels in the early 90s & loved them,I guess he must of taken a break because I didn't see any of his work for years, but I'm very glad he is writing again. ...more
Scott Nelson
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read!!!!

Excellent follow up to "Among Thieves" Beck is like James Bond, but only a bad guy. Can't wait to read more. A movie should br in the works.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Reacher or action thrillers this series is very good. Fyi, this is the 2nd of this series.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bronx resurrection

Cracking good yarn
Full of twists and turns
A strangely moral tale in a world of immorality
Well worth a read………
Luca Csikos
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'If I need to explain why girls love bad boys... well.. read this book and meet James Beck'... :D

Alright, so how do you know that you have read a great book?
Is when you can't get the story and the characters out of your head. When you are on the last pages, you are already in panic and immediately start to search for a sequel because otherwise - even though you have tons of unread books on your shelves or on your kindle - you have absolutely no idea what the hell are you going to read in the ne
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John Clarkson is the author of eight previous novels, including And Justice for One.

His new thriller series featuring James Beck began with the publication of AMONG THIEVES in 2015. The sequel, BRONX REQUIEM, came out in November of 2016.
After quite a long effort, the third novel in the series was finally published in December of 2020. The title is DEATH COMES DUE. Quite of few of John's readers h

Other books in the series

James Beck (2 books)
  • Among Thieves (James Beck, #1)

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