Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ray's Reviews: Assault With a Deadly Lie by Lev Raphel

"Assault With a Deadly Lie" by Okemos author Lev Raphel (Terrace
Books, $26.95) is the eighth book starring successful university professor
Nick Hoffman.

While it's been a few years since the last books in the series,
Raphael comes back roaring with a real winner-a controversial suspense
novel that could easily have been torn from today's headlines.

Hoffman is now a full professor at that State University of Michigan
in Michiganopolis (a thinly veiled Michigan State University and East
Lansing). He lives in a quiet neighborhood with his partner Stephen
Borowski and is enjoying a typical peaceful evening.

The carefully-crafted tale starts off with a bang- a real bang- when
two armored police carriers suddenly screech to a stop outside their
house, lights flashing.

A dozen heavily armed men in ski masks emerge- there's pounding and
shouting at his door. He can make out the words "police" and
"warrant"; chaos errupts when Borowski opens the door and the troopers
surge in.

Local authorities have gotten a call of a "hostage situation"; they go
out in full force, using lots of military gear. Despite the fact that
it was a false report, Borowski is taken out for questioning.

A neighbor, Vanessa Liberati, who's a local attorney, comes to their
assistance, gaining Borowski's freedom. She accurately predicts that
there may be other threats coming.

As Hoffman investigates, his relationship with Borowski faces real
challenges. Different suspects emerge and tempers flare. The head of
their University department doesn't want the publicity- he just wants
this all to go away.

Hoffman and Borowski don't know where to turn- they get threatening
phone calls and other harassments. They obviously can't trust the
police; their paranoia increases as more shocking allegations surface.

The author deftly deals with a wide variety of emotions; he created a
thought-provoking tale that blends academia with today's necessary
worries about police brutality.  The violent conclusion is unexpected
yet realistic.

Raphel's latest book has more relevance as it actually was released
before the Ferguson MS and St. Louis forceful police assaults.

It's not essential to read others in the Nick Hoffman series in order
to enjoy this fast-paced novel. Raphel has also published books in
numerous different genres, including non-fiction and memoirs.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, has reviewed
crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles

at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on October 12, 2014.

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