Fault Line Mass Market Paperback – Jan 20 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
There's plenty of seismic activity in geologist/sleuth Em Hansen's seventh well-paced outing, following An Eye for Gold (2000). Not only are the fault lines that underlie Salt Lake City proving to be active but the fault lines in her relationship with Mormon cop Ray Raymond are producing their own fractures. When a modest earthquake strikes Salt Lake City, its tremors penetrate through the geologic community, through the developers, builders and inspectors, and through the city's power structure. But the murder of state geologist Sidney Smeeth has even greater repercussions. After her FBI mentor Tom Latimer enlists Em's help, the stage is set for Andrews to explore the deadly confluence of natural faults and human ones greed, arrogance and hubris. The result is an uneven admixture of geology, romance and murder. Andrews gets honors for her graphic, frightening and entertaining use of earthquake science and lore readers may never look at rock formations with the same innocence. But Em's tortured relationship with Ray hand-wringing, gut-wrenching and protracted is overdone to a fault. There are plenty of culprits from an almost Dickensian ogre to corner-cutting functionaries, but Em follows the trail even when her personal and professional worlds seem to be on a collision course. Em Hansen is rapidly carving out a niche for herself as a forensic geologist (she lacks the credentials to claim that title yet), and may eventually make her field as popular as that of forensic anthropology or medicine. (Jan. 14)California's Sonoma State University.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Forensic geologist Em Hansen (Bone Hunter) plans to take advantage of being on site when an earthquake hits Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, the FBI wants her to investigate the murder of a state-employed geologist that occurs immediately after the disaster. A fine series.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book takes place in heavily faulted Salt Lake City. Geologist (and informal investigator-in-training) 35-year-old Em Hansen is shaken awake about 4 AM by an approximate 5.3-level earthquake. She gets caught up in the two murder investigations of a geologist and a reporter who are out to expose earthquake damage in public structures, but which developers want covered up. Furthermore, we are drawn far into the Mormon world, and society, of Salt Lake City. Along the way, we also learn a lot of interesting science and geology. If you enjoy science at all, you will LOVE this whole mystery series.
I absolutely loved the main character. She has a lot of interesting friends, and an interesting, but very realistic life. In addition to this mystery, this author has a lot to say about life (through what her characters are experiencing) and gives her readers a lot to chew on.
In this mystery, Em's relationship with her boyfriend, Mormon policeman Ray, is in difficulty from the get-go. Em is not Mormon and his family is not so happy about their relationship. Then there's Emma's career -- another problem area, since she isn't actually employed (she does some temping to supplement her dwindling savings). She moved to Salt Lake City to be near her boyfriend, but has been unable to find a job.
To top it off, there's this earthquake (in the first chapter), and Em begins to suspect that some of the buildings in Salt Lake City are going to collapse if a really big earthquake hits. How is it that the authorities allowed them to be built?
Then there's the murder of a state geologist -- is it related to the earthquake or politics or both? Em gets involved in trying to discover who killed her, even as she tries to sort out her troubled relationship with her boyfriend and his family.
If I have any criticisms of the book, it is that you might end up knowing more about earthquakes and fault lines than you want to -- but you will learn quite a bit on the subject, and quite a bit about Salt Lake City and Mormons.
All in all, an entertaining, amusing, engaging, "can't put down" book. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Reviewing maps and tramping the terrain, Hansen discovers that her newly adopted city is riddled with faults, which the city fathers have virtually ignored. Between complacency and corruption, numerous public venues - from housing developments and malls to the spanking new stadium where the Olympics' opening ceremonies are scheduled - sit precariously on fault lines.
The murder investigation parallels Andrews' dire exploration of earthquake inevitability and its devastating effects on an unprepared populace. Greed, politics and religion wrestle with science in a story as much exposé as mystery. An engaging and forthright protagonist, Hansen's narration is interspersed with other viewpoints - a corporate villain, his trained construction geologist and an ambitious newspaper reporter among others - which heightens the suspense and the novel's scope.