Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Michael Haskins

Miles Corwin’s first police procedural thriller, “Kind of Blue,” is filled with the raw, tough, and crude daily routine of police work and life on the meanstreets of Los Angeles. This adds a touch of honesty to the characters and situations Corwin presents. It shouldn’t be surprising that a first-time thriller writer can do this so well, for Corwin, an ex-crime reporter for the Los Angles Times has published three non-fiction books, two of them dealing with LAPD’s elite detective squads and one on student life in the inner-city.

“Kind of Blue” tells a compelling story about the troubled life of Det. Ash Levin and as the story unveils the depths of his personality it is obvious that Corwin has been able to capture the true grit of the city and its police force – the good, the bad, the ugly and the rewarding.

* * *

Leaving the LAPD nearly ruined Ash Levine’s life. But rejoining the force could end it.

When a legendary ex-cop is murdered in LA, the pressure’s on to find the killer. Lt. Frank Duffy needs his best detective on the case, but his best detective, Ash Levine, quit a year ago.

A tenacious, obsessive detective, Ash resigned after Latisha Patton, the witness in a homicide case he was working, was murdered. Without his job, Ash is left unanchored—and consumed with guilt that he somehow caused Latisha’s murder.

When he’s asked to rejoin the force, Ash reluctantly agrees. Getting his badge back could give him the chance to find Latisha’s killer.

Ash dives in headfirst into the shadow lands of Southern California to investigate the ex-cop’s murder. But even when he has a suspect in custody, something about this case doesn’t sit right with Ash, and he continues working the increasingly-dangerous investigation while quietly chasing leads in Latisha’s murder.

Unable to let either case go until he has answers, Ash finds that his obsessive nature, which propels him into a world of private compromises and public corruption, is a flaw that might prove fatal.

* * *

“While the plot outline was not lifted from one of the cases I followed, so much of the texture and mood and psychological insight came from my time following cops. By spending so much time with homicide detectives, I was able to discover how they thought, what motivated them, how they approached suspects and witnesses and victims’ families. I think readers know, instinctively, when you get it right,” Corwin said about his ability to capture the truism of police work.

“I really paid attention to the way cops talked when I was writing about them as a reporter. I tried to write realistic dialogue in “Kind of Blue.” Some of my dialogue is funny and crude, and some readers might think the cops are being disrespectful of the victims, or not taking the investigations seriously. But that’s not the case. Most homicide detectives have a good sense of humor; if they don’t, they don’t last long. They burn out. So when a cop makes a quip at a homicide scene, it may come off an uncaring or insensitive. Instead, it’s a coping mechanism,” Corwin said while discussing the dialogue in his book.

Indicating that he has more than one thriller to write, Corwin said, “I’m just finishing a second crime novel with the same protagonist featured in “Kind of Blue” – Ash Levine.”

If there is any doubt that Corwin is a rising star of Los Angeles based thrillers, it is extinguished by the praise of LA’s two best selling authors:

“’Kind of Blue’ is my kind of book, and I think Miles Corwin is a novelist to watch,” Michael Connelly, NY Times best-selling author;

“Every bit as moving, funny, complex, and exciting as the works of Michael Connelly and Joseph Wambaugh, ‘Kind of Blue’ launches Miles Corwin to the front rank of crime novelists working LA’s meanstreets,” Robert Crais, NY Times best-selling author.

“Kind of Blue” will be released this month from Oceanview Publishing.

Michael Haskins
Latest posts by Michael Haskins (see all)