The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
by Joan Lipinsky Cochran
About The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Perricot Publishing (March 30, 2021)
Number of Pages – 318 pages
Digital – ASIN : B08ZVF86VF
Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.
Gabe Ruchinsky has brought a friend home from college. Menny is a Hasidic Jew that left his New York home for college in Florida but he confesses to Gabe that there is much more to his story. In fact, after seeing a suspicious stranger on campus he tells Gabe he fears he is going to be kidnapped. They decide Menny may be safer with his parents in Boca Raton. But after just six days Menny’s body is found in a nearby canal and Gabe’s mother, Becks is beside herself in grief and regrets. The young man was killed after leaving her house for the first time. She feels like she failed him and she can’t make the police understand that his death was not an accident. She continues to hit a brick wall with the cops so she starts her own investigation to find enough evidence to present to them to see things her way. What she uncovers takes her to a small town in New York and back to Boca Rotan and Miami and is a much bigger scandal than she ever imagined.
Becks Ruchinsky is a fascinating protagonist. She has recently reconciled with her estranged husband but while they were separated she really came to enjoy her independence. She is a strong woman who took on Menny’s death investigation like a dog with a bone. She takes some risks but does get help from a friend when she basically enters the lion’s den. She also gets an assist from her father, Tootsie, as he may know people that can help her with the case. Tootsie is a quirky character, set in his ways, living in an assisted facility but active enough to help his daughter and show up at her house as the mood strikes him. Gabe Rusinsky is a freshman in college who has autism. He is doing well adjusting to college life but Menny was his first real friend and the young man has quite the effect on Gabe. The characters created by Ms. Cochran are believable and genuine. Their dialogues are true to life.
The mystery in this story is complex with a lot of people involved. Becks is able to get people to talk to her and with each little snippet of a clue, she gets moves her investigation along. Not being very familiar with Hasidic Jews except for a few stories I have read or things I have seen on television I found this story to be very stirring especially with the level of corruption and secrets. Following Becks everywhere she went was intriguing and entertaining. Her dedication to getting justice for a young man she barely knew was heartwarming. She was not giving up no matter where each twist lead. Sadly, as we neared the end of the story there was some explicit language that while probably proper for that character it was surprising after a gripping story that was a totally clean read that far.
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son was a fast-paced read with interesting characters and compelling subject matter. I enjoyed learning about the Hasidic sect through this story.
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About Joan Lipinsky Cochran
Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”