The East Bay Mystery Readers' Group - 4 November 2003 Meeting Recap
SILENT PROOF (Police Procedural) - Michael A. Hawley - Good Twenty-five years ago, a woman was murdered in a Seattle park. The crime went unsolved. To homicide detective Leah Harris and her partner Frank Milkovich, the only possible suspect is Clifford Bakerman-a career criminal about to be released from prison on an unrelated rap. They have thirty-six hours to make another charge stick and keep Bakerman where he belongs. But startling new evidence-and a shocking new murder-plunge Leah and Frank into a life-and-death game with a deadly-and secret-opponent.
Blaire liked it pretty well although the ending seemed very abrupt. Libby felt it was choppy, without continuity and that there was very little sense of place for a Seattle setting. In general, the readers found it entertaining and enjoyed it up to the ending when it fell apart.
BLOOD DOUBLE (Amateur Sleuth) - Neil McMahon - Not Recommended On a March evening in San Francisco a dying man is dumped in Mercy Hospital's parking lot, and it doesn't take ER's head doctor, Carroll Monks, long to discover he's more than just your average overdosed junkie. Only minutes after the man is swept away by his physician and several tough looking bodyguards, the hospital is set on fire and vandalized, the man's blood samples gone. Soon Monks and his daughter, an intern at Mercy, are being targeted for what they know and forced to flee for their lives in search of answers.
Charlotte felt it was okay but totally improbable. For Blaire, the writing seemed much too studied and deliberate, the characters cardboard, the premise forced and the prose labored.
WALKING ON WATER (Psychological Thriller - Gemma O'Connor - Good+ American art dealer Evangeline Walters is dead...bound to a tree at the water's edge of a small Irish coastal town. Garda Sargeant Francis Recaldo, the town's only policeman, finds himself digging up details of the victim's private life--details that could incriminate his friends and neighbors and the married woman he loves, who becomes his prime suspect.
Both Blaire and Libby found the beginning very slow and each had to re-read it a couple times at least. But, once past that, they enjoyed it. They felt it had a good, complete ending with no loose ends and that, while it was not gripping, it was well written and enjoyable.
BOOKS FOR DECEMBER 2nd are:
BLOOD JUNCTION (Amateur Sleuth) - Caroline Carver When journalist India Kane travels from Sydney to the outback town of Cooinda for a reunion with her friend, Lauren, she has no idea of the town's appalling history. Forty years earlier an entire aboriginal family had been massacred there. Picked up by an off-duty cop when her car dies en route, India arrives in Cooinda to find that Lauren has disappeared. The next day Lauren's body, and the cop who helped India, are found murdered. India, the last person to have seen the cop alive, is arrested for murder. India knows that she has been framed for the murder, and resolves to find out why Lauren died. In time, she ties these deaths to the earlier massacre and discovers a beautiful, yet awful truth about her own history.
DON'T LEAVE ME (Police Procedural) - Clare Curzon Eight years ago, Caroline Winterton disappeared, a case that fell into the hands of ambitious Sergeant Mike Yeadings. However, the crime, if indeed there was a crime, was never solved. But now Caroline's eleven-year-old daughter, Julie is missing. And Yeadings, now detective superintendent, wonders if this episode of déjà vu will finally reveal what happened to the girl's mother.
TROPHY WIDOW (Legal Thriller) - Michael A. Kahn Rachel Gold agrees to represent Angela Green, a convicted murderer who has been offered a lucrative book deal. In gathering background, Rachel discovers some inconsistencies in the murder case that cast doubt on Green's guilt and reveal a multilayered construct of greed, sex, and political finagling that involves some of St. Louis' most prominent citizens.
Books for January 6th, 2004 are: