REVIEW:

"The Case Adventures of Sam Cohen, J.D." represents a new generation of detective fiction for a new generation of readers. Modern writers of detective fiction and thrillers have focused on the scientific aspects of criminal investigations while completely ignoring the human element. In the Patricia Cornwell variety of novels, nobody questions anything. Consider the character of Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy adventure novels: he never questions the orders he receives from his government nor much of anything else for that matter. His character, like so many others found within the pages of the majority of the modern detective novels that flood the shelves of bookstores these days, lacks psychological depth. Indeed, Clancy's Ryan seems more like a robot than a thinking, feeling human being.

Not so with attorney Sam Cohen. Authors Waxman and Post have succeeded in creating a character with whom readers can identify in the protagonist, Sam Cohen. He, like the rest of us, is far from perfect and his faults make his good qualities all the more admirable. Cohen questions authority, including that wielded by his own government, and even questions himself at times. The world of Sam Cohen is much more complex than the typical "us versus them" mentality seen in most modern detective fiction. It makes this Trilogy a new subgenre.

If you like the superficial sort of trash that passes for detective fiction today where the "good guys" have badges and wear white and the one-dimensional "bad guys" wear black, this book is not for you. But if you like fiction that challenges the prevailing myths of our times, in an entertaining and provocative fashion, then this book is truly a must read, if you like this genre. I highly recommend it.

Kyle Crawford
University Of New Mexico



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