A Cold Caseby Philip Gourevitch
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 184 pp., $22
Driving up First Avenue in New York in 1997, Andy Rosenzweig, the chief of investigations for the Manhattan D.A.'s office, was suddenly reminded of a double homicide 27 years earlier that had never been solved. Frankie Koehler -- "the ultimate West Side bad guy," "a period piece," according to Rosenzweig -- had been biding his time in an idyllic Napa Valley hamlet as the kindly unofficial town mayor until Rosenzweig and his associates determined that he was not, in fact, dead, as police records had led them to believe. "Koehler is a refugee of sorts from the white, hoodlum milieu of another time and from a city that no longer really exists," Gourevitch, the roundly praised author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda, writes in this captivating and probing account of an old, worn-down criminal who had forgotten who he was and the tireless cop who didn't.