Forgiving Stephen Redmond (A Kurchenko & Gonzalvez Mystery – Book Two)

Written by A.J. Sidransky
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

It’s August 2006, in Washington Heights, New York City, and Detectives Tolya Kurchenko and Pete Gonzalvez are investigating the excavation of a corpse found in the wall of a tenement apartment that is currently being demolished. After an examination of the body, it was found to have been enclosed in the wall since the 1960s.

Nearby lives Stephen Redmond, a Rabbi, whom the detectives must question because his father, Max Rothman, along with his partner Ernest “Erno” Eisen, previously owned the apartment building. Stephen “Shalom” Rothman was 12 years old at the time, while his father has since died. Erno is still alive, lives in Washington Heights, and is over 90 years old and in poor health. Erno is next to be questioned. Detectives Kurchenko and Gonzalvez remember Stephen because of the circumstances around the death of his father.

This multi-period novel is the third book in the Forgiving series. Because there are spoilers included that affect the reading of the first book, Forgiving Máximo Rothman, I read it as well. I am glad I did and recommend that you will enjoy this third novel even better. The mystery of the discovered corpse and the life of the ancestors of Stephen Redmond/Rothman relates to the early Jewish settlement in the Dominican Republic before World War II. Excellent characterization portrayals make this series enjoyable and kept me interested until the final page. A must read for those who are interested in the Jewish experience.