When I picked this book up at a yard sale I thought it might be a fun biography of a terrific actor and comic I missed two words on "the cover A Novel After spending the first two chapters wondering why Richard Belzer was chasing the Russian Mafia "cover A Novel After spending the first two chapters wondering why Richard Belzer was chasing the Russian Mafia noticed those two words Okay so I was wrong I The Prime Minister of Paradise ll treat it as a novel and see what happens I kept reading and wondering where the book was going Before I knew it I was finished and still was unsure why I had continued reading it all the way to the end It s an amusing story but somehow unsatisfying You never really get aook into Belzer s TV world you never really get a meaty mystery and so many plot points were Charlie O. and the angry A's left unanswered Just one of those books that comes along that when you get to the end you wonder what you read it for Love this restriction detective novelCombine one of my favorite tv detectives stand up comedians and a great conspiracy based mystery and I m very happy I wish Belzer would write another Belz novel Iove Richard Belzer He is a hoot His writing reflects this I oved this book Written by Richard Belzer in collaboration with Michael Black it is inseparable from Belzer s persona Although it is a novel the protagonist is Belzer himself A fictional account of a real person is not a new concept There are novels aplenty about many historical figures but Belzer s opus is uniue he portrays himself as a fictional character with irony and witJust a reminder Richard Belzer a TV actor and stand up comedian is mostly known for his role of Detective John Munch in Law Order and the series multiple spinoffs In fact he made television history as he played that same role for 15 years in 10 different TV shows Besides acting he also wrote several other books This particular book his first novel belongs to the rare fictional genre of comical thriller Richard s friend Rudy a medical examiner for the NYPD and former Russian immigrant disappeared A couple days ater Richard receives a etter from Rudy containing a riddle The police seem ess than enthusiastic to proceed so Richard decides to take the matter into his own hands He investigates Rudy s mystery himselfAs an actor who has played a policeman for 15 years he knows many New York policemen personally One of them Max a real ife police detective responsible for Rudy s case keeps reminding Richard You re not a cop You just play one on TV Leave it to the professionals Aware that he is not a cop Richard is still adamant to solve the riddle and find his friendAs Richard stumbles from one mad escapade to another the story capers head over heels ike a mad TV series involving a sleazy reporter from a New York tabloid the Russian mafia diamond trade Russian spies and Chinese martial arts Disregarding dangers to himself using everything he knows as a fictional policeman and a real actor from police procedures to diamond Dark Passage lore Richard barges ahead in search of his buddy Belzer weaves a sophisticated tapestry from its many interconnected threads As a veteran actor whenever Richard trips on a kink in the plotine he moans for the script to American Military History and the Evolution of Western Warfare learn how the story unravels As a comedian he often inserts small comical routines in the midst of his Russian diamond mafia conspiracy And as a writer Belzer populates his tale with various menacing secondary characters tangling the plot considerably before it is resolved in theast chapterWith *self deprecating humour and real finesse Belzer paints his imaginary self portrait a suave actor a bumbling comedian *deprecating humour and real finesse Belzer paints his imaginary self portrait a suave actor a bumbling comedian a home made hero The only sour twist in this delightful mix of genres is the writer s handling of Russian words and names They are often jarring for a Russian ear One would think that such a well known performer and author would make an effort and hire a real ife Russian consultant to check the spellingsOn the whole it is a small price to pay for the pleasure of reading this unusual novel The action gallops In this captivating often hilarious debut mystery one of the great comedians of our time blends fact with fictio. Es to remind us that he dislikes George W Bush An audiobook reading would be welcomed though one has not been issued to date Written by actor Richard Belzer Detective John Munch from Law Order SVU this hilarious and thrilling crime novel combines fact with fiction and follows the mystery of a missing friend and the Russian mafia I iked this book but got a ittle mixed up between Munch and Belzer Once I got that straight I enjoyed the book Richard Belzer has many accomplishments He is a famous actor comedian producer and author and his portrayal of Detective John Munch has spanned
six network TV shows He s a regular on the Howard network TV shows He s a regular on the Howard Show and is oved by fans all over the globe Still there s one thing you should knowHe is not a cop I Am Not a Cop abbreviated from here after as IANAC is a fictional account written by Belzer as he is dragged into a bizarre investigation following the disappearance of his friend Rudy Markovich Rudy is a medical examiner with a Easy Breezy Miracle long storied career in New York and he is coming close to retirement When he meets with Belzer something is clearly bugging him but he refuses to discuss it Instead he tells Belzer to meet him at Madison Suare Garden the following night to attend a championship fight between theatest contender and the Ukranian champion Rudy s friend AlexiRudy gets jumped in an alley as he and Belzer are exiting their dinner and the non cop dishes out some martial arts to save his buddy s hide Rudy still won t talk about what s on his mind but promises an explanation the following night Naturally he doesn t show for the fight and Belzer attempts to get some answers from Detective Max Kaminsky of the NYPD He comes up empty in that effort Belzer "knows the police aren t going to really pursue Rudy s disappearance with any dedication "the police aren t going to really pursue Rudy s disappearance with any dedication he decides he had best do a ittle snooping aroundTo complicate things one of the Associate Producers gets wind of Belzer s brawl in the alley and assigns him a personal assistant to keep him out of trouble Belzer is partnered with the young sassy and talented Kalisha Kali Carter The studio s effort backfires as Kali soon displays an appetite for fact finding as deep as Belzer s When Belzer opens an envelope with a puzzle on it and Rudy s ticket to the boxing match he knows he has a trail to follow and his cop ike instincts might be the only thing that saves his missing friend s Get Fast!: A Complete Guide to Gaining Speed Wherever You Ride lifeBelzer and Kali soon find themselves navigating a web of Russian mobsters goons sleazy private investigators arrogant cops super fans smugglers and Rudy s desperate family Belzer has to juggle the case with his shooting schedule for the hit TV show he never mentions by name and his martial arts training which results in many of the funniestines in the book The story winds and twists with all the fever you d expect from the author of UFO s JFK and Elvis "Conspiracies Don t Have to be Crazy to Believe Belzer s on stage and on camera persona is very much on "Don t Have to be Crazy to Believe Belzer s on stage and on camera persona is very much on in this novel He s sardonic sarcastic and snarky He has trouble controlling his attitude even when it kicks him from the frying pan to the fire He freuently references classic pop culture including Casablanca Fibber McGee Molly and John Wayne He also reveals himself to be a big fan of mystery and noir writers The Pleasant Light of Day like Raymond Chandler Dashiell Hammet Oscar Wilde and yes Lenny Bruce It s his first foray into outright fiction and the flare he injects into Det Munch is very evident from the book s first pages IANAC is humorous and carries a good deal of puzzle solving in its story Belzer s account of the Rudy Malkovich disappearance is every bit as ground in reality as Bruce Campbell helping Richard Gere get his groove back in his book Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way Still it s entertaining especially if you re a fan of pop culture crime noir and sarcasm Belzer has a distinct delivery and it s heardoud and clear on the pages of I Am Not a Co. Know how and comedic timing in eual measure to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a trusted frie. ,
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He intrepid hero valiantly totters through abyrinth of intrigue and the reader enjoys the ride in the best thriller tradition I was very surprised how good the book was "Especially considering it was Belzer s first fiction book and his background was as an actor "considering it was Belzer s first fiction book and his background was as an actor than anything vaguely to do with being a fiction writer Yes he has written a couple of non fictiion works but fiction and non fiction have ittle to do with each other He has put himself as the main character in the book doing something in fiction that he never did in real ife His good friend Rudy has disappeared and he tries to use the skills of his character Detective Munch from Law Order SUV s to find him A good book but kind of petered out toward the end and got really cliched Still a fun read either way Entertainment concepts seem to evolve over the course of a decade and as the reality experiment has begun to yield the floor it appears that a hybrid sub genre of reality fiction is emerging In film we ve had My Name Is Bruce and in The Go-Between literature I Am Not a Cop Richard Belzer has crafted a fictitious tale in which he as himself is caught up in a mystery involving a missing medical examiner friend who happens to be Russian Or is he UkrainianFans of The Belz know from his stand up routine and previous work of non fiction UFO s JFK and Elvis Conspiracies You Don t Have to Be Crazy to Believe that this is a guy who does his homework when it comes to intricate plots and he has spun a doozy here Elements of the plot draw heavily from the history and politics of Russia and the former Soviet states you don t need to do your own homework though because Belzer has made sure that all the information you need to know is presented in an accessible manner throughout this novelI haveong been an avid yet admittedly slow reader and so it is rare that I read anything cover to cover in one setting I Am Not a Cop has earned a spot on that short ist Despite Belzer s years of portraying television s most ubiuitous character Detective John Munch I Am Not a Cop is much a iterary descendant of crime noir novels Not only does Belzer admit as much in his epilogue but there are freuent references to and uotes from them sprinkled throughout the narrative From start to finish though the sarcastic wit of Belzer permeates I Am Not a Cop and I found myself easily envisioning him in character during many passagesAt 272 pages this is a novel that harkens back to the days of page turning paperback thrillers meant to be read during a train commute the kind that Ian Fleming insisted his James Bond stories were Despite or perhaps because of this there is one chief complaint I would register with the author All too often a turn of phrase is recycled to the point that it becomes distracting The most glaring culprit is a variation of famous person would be proud Saying that these moments took me out of the book would be taking it too far especially given the nature of its premise Still they re the kind of thing that one expects an editor to catch and ask the author Can we phrase this differently You used the same expression thirteen pages agoFans of the series in which Detective Munch has appeared should not expect any name dropping or behind the scenes glimpses into their production Despite the fact that Belzer s investigation occurs during an eight day shoot the actual series and its elements are ambiguous The only direct allusions are to Mariska Hargitay in both of which the promise of an autographed photo of her is bartered for cooperationWhile I Am Not a Cop may not be the definitive mystery story of our times it is fun throughout and sustained by its plot steeped as it is in real ife situations I cannot guage how a reader unfamiliar with Belzer would enjoy this novel many of his personality traits and views can be alienating at times for instance in 2008 was it really necessary to have five different in. N as Richard Belzer's Law Order Detective persona comes to ife on the page when our hero employs investigative.