Old Flame (Paperback)

By Ira Berkowitz

Three Rivers Press (CA), 9780307408624, 275pp.

Publication Date: December 30, 2008



Dark streets. Darker secrets.
Jackson Steeg thought he'd finally put all that behind him.
He was wrong.
Jackson Steeg isn't an NYPD homicide cop anymore, not since the bullet he took to the lung. But Steeg's retirement is looking anything but relaxing.
After months of death threats, his ex-wife's new flame is beaten to death outside a chichi restaurant in the Meatpacking District. When Steeg starts pulling on strings, he discovers that his old pals on the force are strangely reluctant to investigate the murder.
Meanwhile, Steeg's Hell's Kitchen roots prove impossible to escape when a ne'er-do-well childhood friend finds himself deep in debt to a vicious mobster. Steeg's brother, Dave, wants to help, but the only language Dave knows is violence, and soon a mob war threatens to erupt.
Now Steeg's got two factions of New York's nastiest characters aiming for his head. Worse, every thread keeps leading him exactly where he doesn't want to go: his own family.

About the Author

IRA BERKOWITZ is a native New Yorker and former advertising executive. His first novel, "Family Matters," won the Washington Irving Literary Award.

Praise For Old Flame

“Just the tonic to cure the blues...Pour yourself a healthy shot of bourbon, drink it in as few gulps as possible and settle back with a reminder of how hard-boiled fiction used to be done, updated to reflect what is being done right now.”
—Sarah Weinman, Baltimore Sun

"Grade: A. There will always be a surfeit of authors using Hell's Kitchen as a backdrop for their private- eye tales, but Berkowitz is in the lead - and it will take a doozy of a tale to catch him."
Rocky Mountain News

“Taut, convincing and flat-out terrific.”
Fredericksburg Freelance Star

“Deftly rendering such New York City neighborhoods as Alphabet City and Brighton Beach (Little Odessa), Berkowitz keeps the dialogue rough, the action fast and the characterization thin but sharp as Jake steers his way through the myriad traps thrown in his way.”
Publishers Weekly

Old Flame is a tightly written, deftly plotted gem of crime fiction.”
Booklist, starred review

“A mean, lean piece of noir full of tough talk, hard men, and harder women. It's a tense walk down a dark alley, a heart-pounding chase on the gritty streets of New York that ends with punch in the jaw. Ira Berkowitz flicks his cigarette ash at the noir greats and dares them to do it better."
—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Lies and Black Out

“Cynical, wise-cracking, and full of snappy dialog, Old Flame is both a valentine to hardboiled fiction fans and a great introduction to the genre for anyone looking for a good story and a reluctant hero. If Berkowitz doesn't write more books about Steeg, I may send a goon to sock him in the kisser.”
—Chelsea Cain, New York Times-bestselling author of Heartsick.

“Hard to put down…A good old-fashioned crime novel crowded with fast-talking, colorful characters, each of whom comes with a secret or two and the temperament of a killer.”
—Thomas Perry, Edgar Award-winning author of Silence, The Butcher’s Boy, and Nightlife.

"Not to be missed…A sharp, clean and precise piece of crime writing. Ira Berkowitz drops you into Hell's Kitchen and leaves you wanting more."
—Michael Harvey, author of The Chicago Way and co-creator of Cold Case Files.

“In Hell's Kitchen, Old Flame burns white hot.  If gritty New York streets and rough and tumble detectives turn you on, read this book.”
—Reed Farrel Coleman, Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of Soul Patch and The James Deans