Killer Nashville Book of the Day
Cop Job by Chris Knopf / Reviewed by G. Robert Frazier
When Alfie Aldergreen, a paranoid schizophrenic helplessly bound to a wheelchair, is brutally murdered, friend Sam Acquillo takes it personally in Cop Job, the forthcoming novel from author Chris Knopf and The Permanent Press.
Acquillo isn’t your typical detective, and that’s what makes reading this adventure so fun. A former corporate troubleshooter and pro boxer turned carpenter, Acquillo’s headstrong attitude doesn’t make his investigation any easier.
Fortunately, his bullish attitude is tempered somewhat by the cool wit and sharp analytical mind of his friend, attorney Jackie Swaitkowski, who also happened to be an advocate for the recently departed Alfie Aldergreen. Together, the pair begins methodically interviewing anyone and everyone who may have known Alfie, past and present, in an effort to determine who had it in for him.
They have a decent relationship with the investigating officer on the case and are able to launch their own line of inquiry with little police backlash. They even have the blessing of District Attorney Edith Madison, who confides in them that Alfie was acting as a confidential informant for the police department. What’s more, they learn Alfie’s death was only one of three murders of late involving confidential informants. Suspicion immediately points to a possible police cover-up and the plot, as they say, thickens.
Knopf handles the ensuing narrative with deft skill as Acquillo and Swaitkowski follow breadcrumbs to Alfie’s former associates: a wild assortment of oddball characters who demonstrate varying degrees of cooperation. The parade of suspects and questions seem to be going nowhere fast before Acquillo’s world is rocked a second time after his daughter is subjected to a brutal attack.
After seeing to her safety, Acquillo jumps back on the case, ultimately connecting all the dots, including his daughter’s attack, to the perpetrators in an action-packed finale on the high seas.
Cop Job is the sixth novel from Knopf to feature Acquillo, but readers don’t need to rush out and buy the others before diving into this one. Knopf easily sets the stage – in the upscale Hamptons where Acquillo makes his home — without burdening readers with what has gone on before.
Robert Frazier is a former journalist and editor, having worked at several newspapers in the Midstate. He is a reader for the Nashville Film Festival’s annual screenwriting competition, serves on the La Vergne Library Board, and is an active member of the Nashville Writers Meetup and Tennessee Screenwriters Association. He is currently juggling work on a mystery novel and a screenplay, along with a half dozen short stories in various phases of incompletion.
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