This book's beautiful cover art has been tempting me for a few years now, but I managed to avoid it until it popped up on the Library Sale shelves for 50 cents and I took the plunge. I have mixed feelings about the author, as I feel he's talented but I've read a couple of his books now and I feel like they don't quite live up to the hype. This was no exception. I really liked the main characters and the noir mood/setting, and the story drew me in, but the resolution just ... wasn't as satisfying as I might have liked. That said, the writing was excellent.
One thing I feel compelled to mention is my shock at reading that some Amazon.com reviewers dogged the book as being full of Yiddish and therefore incomprehensible. Which book were these people reading? I'm a shiksa* with just a passing knowledge of random Yiddish words beyond several variations of oy vey**, but this book is not so full of Yiddish that those with no knowledge of it would have trouble understanding the book as written. In addition, the book includes a glossary so.... not sure what this ridiculous, baseless criticism is really about. As a language person (so therefore I am admittedly biased to enjoy the inclusion of other languages in books) I found this annoying. For the record, I loved the Yiddish, including the slang the author invented.
*a not-Jewish female
** in case you're curious, my favorite is oy vey iz mir