Death Will Help You Leave Him

Death Will Help You Leave Him

by Elizabeth Zelvin

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler and his friends face new challenges when an Al-Anon sponsee becomes the prime suspect in her abusive boyfriend’s murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312582661
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

ELIZABETH ZELVIN is a psychotherapist and an Agatha Award-nominated author. She divides her time between New York City and East Hampton.

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Death Will Help You Leave Him 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ctfrench on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler is taking things one day at a time with the help of his friends Jimmy and Barbara, while trying to place limits with his ex-wife who has bouts of depression and sporadically threatens suicide. Barbara, an addictions counselor, talks Bruce and Jimmy into doing some independent sleuthing when Luz Colon, her Al-Anon sponsee, is suspected of murdering her abusive boyfriend, Frankie Iacone. Frankie, a former drug dealer married to someone else, had just gotten out of rehab hours before being found dead in Luz¿s apartment. Barbara hopes Bruce and Jimmy may be able to learn more about Frankie and the people he knew through their AA connections. Along with Luz, the three team up and separate and team up again as they try to unearth the murderer. Eventually they step on the wrong toes, which places Bruce¿s and Luz¿s lives in danger.This, the second in the mystery series featuring recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler, is an intriguing whodunit set against the gritty backdrop of New York City and its diverse cultures. As with the first, much emphasis is placed on the recovery process and Zelvin relays Kohler¿s, as well as others¿, constant battle with addiction in a realistic, empathetic manner. The plot moves at a quick pace with enough suspects to keep the reader guessing.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
The mystery is a good one, but the brutally clear depictions of the aspects of addiction to alcohol can be more than some want to know about. That being said, it's not only a good mystery read, but also a fine and painless insight into the positive aspects of AA and Al-Anon. The publisher's blurb is somewhat informative but the story is more than that. It turns out that I had it sitting on my TBR pile since June of 2014! What a shame.
BikerLibrarianCyn More than 1 year ago
Death Will Help You Leave Him is a story of addictions. Each characters battles his or her own addiction, be it to alcohol, drugs, love, sex, being needed, or, helpful for this novel, an addiction to investigating. Bruce Kohler is nine months sober and working as a temporary paralegal when his best friend's girlfriend Barbara's addiction to helping others has the three on a mission of mercy to aid her Al-Anon sponsee Luz, who apparently just discovered the body of her boyfriend in her apartment. The beautiful women had been unable to refrain from loving or leaving the abusive victim, and the fact that Luz has been a little recalcitrant with the truth to everyone has her as the number one suspect on the police suspect list. With considerable pressure from Barbara, Bruce finds himself a little too eager to investigate the dead man's life, which included drug dealing, several stints in rehab, a bakery-owning family, and most problematic for Luz, a wife. While the addictive high of detecting satisfies some of Bruce's need for excitement, the reappearance of his bi-polar ex-wife dangerously creates another. The most compelling aspects of this second novel by Elizabeth Zelvin, a psychotherapist with a strong addiction treatment background, are the addictions of the characters and the various ways they have managed to cope with them. Barbara is impulsive and reckless with her need to constantly help and "fix" other's problems, Bruce daily battles the desire for alcohol and an attraction to his fragile and reckless ex-wife, and Luz has her own inability to acknowledge the destructiveness of her past relationship. Bruce's own personal tragedies interweave with his amateurish investigation, and both prove to be realistic and clearly depicted. Despite the somber themes of this mystery, the wry humor of the heroes lighten the tone and make this a very enjoyable read. The characters and their struggles also aid in creating an extremely unique mystery that sucks the reader in and refuses to let go. - Cindy Chow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In New York, drug dealer Frankie Iacone is found dead in the apartment of his girlfriend Luz. The police suspects Luz stabbed her boyfriend who just came out of rehab as they insist her motive is learning he had a wife and children living in Brooklyn. Luz's counselor Barbara, her boyfriend Jimmy and his best buddy recovering alcoholic Jimmy investigate the homicide. Bruce also struggles with his dealings with his former wife bipolar addict Laura who he still sleeps with and who tempts his addiction. Their unprofessional investigation leads the trio into trouble with the police and with associates of Frankie as they attend his funeral where they meet his warm Italian family including his pregnant wife. In his second appearance (see DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER) Bruce and his amateur sleuth cohorts make for an intriguing urban mystery as they fumble their way through the city's most downtrodden residents trying to find the killer. The story line is a very dark look at the mean streets of New York from the view of the undesirable forgotten. For instance Bruce's ex spouse is a fascinating character as she uses the threat of suicide as a defense mechanism to get Bruce to come over and then either kicks him to curb or has sex with him. His confusion as to how to escape the relationship enhances a psychological look at New York's emotionally desperately needy as the people overwhelms the whodunit. Harriet Klausner