Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Am Not A Cop!

I Am Not A Cop! – A Novel by Richard Belzer with Michael Black

When famous TV detective Richard Belzer meets Rudy Markovich, NYC medical examiner, for dinner in Brighton Beach, he has little reason to expect anything more than a friendly bull session. But in the next twenty-four hours the Belz finds himself in the middle of a vicious street bgrawl, splashed across the tabloid headlines as an out-fo-control celeb, and fearing for the life of his good pal—who police assume is sleeping at the bottom of the East River.

With Rudy kidnapped, or worse, it falls to Belzer to solve the riddle of his trusted friend’s mysterous disappearance. As The Belz finds himself increasingly required to call upon the reseources he taps to portray his TV cop character, he maintains his signature sense of humor and carries us along on a rollicking ride through the underworld of New York City. In I Am Not A Cop!, Richard Belzer’s off-camera persona comes to life on the page as one of America’s great comics brings us all of his talents to bear in bookform to produce a captivating, often hilarious, debut mystery.
--I Am Not A Cop! by Richard Belzer with Michael Black, Copyright ©2008 by McBelz Enterprises, published by Simon & Schuster Paperbacks

My Review

The story starts with Richard Belzer—as himself—meeting his good friend Rudy Markovich for dinner. Rudy needs Belz’s help in a delicate matter, one that may require Belz’s contacts in the police department. When Belz protests, saying “I’m not a cop. I just play one on TV,” Rudy drops the subject and offers Belz a ticket to a boxing match featuring a mutual friend, Alexi Zotkin. Rudy has the other ticket, but doesn’t show up for the match. When Max Kaminsky, a NYPD Detective and friend shows up, he reluctantly informs Belz that Rudy’s car was found down by the East River, riddled with bullet holes. Rudy’s coat was there too, covered in blood. It does not look good for Rudy.

Belz is all for letting the police do their work, but Rudy was his friend, and when he receives an intriguing letter from Rudy, posted shortly before his death/disappearance, Belz has to act.

Using the skills he’s learned throughout the years of portraying Detective John Munch and enlisting the aid of Kalisha “Kali” Carter, his studio-assigned babysitter/personal assistant, Belz begins his own investigation and before long, finds himself in very serious trouble, not only with the police, but with the Russian mafiya. Can he get to the bottom of Rudy’s disappearance before Kali and he are made to disappear?

Having enjoyed the comedy of Ricard Belzer in the eighties and his witty, acerbic portrayal of Detective John Munch in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, purchasing this book at The Green Valley Bookfair was an easy decision.

Co-authored by Michael Black, a former Chicago police officer and author of three novels and two non-fiction books, I Am Not A Cop! is a well plotted novel involving … um … well, I don’t want to give away more of the plot. If you enjoy Richard Belzer’s humor—which permeates this book as Belz himself is the primary character—then you’ll enjoy this book.

I give this story THREE STARS.

This story has a sequel, I Am Not A Psychic! which I will add to my to-be-read list for next year. Given the size of the list, it may not get read until 2012!

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