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Goodnight, Irene [Mass Market Paperback]

Jan Burke
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2002 Irene Kelly Mysteries
For thirty-five years the identity of the dismembered woman found under the Las Piernas pier has remained a mystery. What secret did she take to her grave? Southern California reporter Irene Kelly has uncovered a maze of forensic records and confidential files that suggest a motive far more sinister than anyone imagined. The discovery has brought her close to Detective Frank Harriman, and closer still to exposing a killer who will resort to anything to keep his secrets buried -- and Irene silenced forever.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the fictional Southern California town of Las Piernas, this generally exciting debut mystery--the first of a projected series--brims with brutality, but is slowed at times by home and hospital bedside scenes. Former reporter Irene Kelly, now working in public relations, is shocked when her friend O'Connor is killed by a bomb hidden in a package. The only clue Irene can unearth is O'Connor's obsession with a long-unsolved crime involving an unidentified female body discovered in Las Piernas years before. Rehired by the Las Piernas Express , Irene teams up with ex-lover and homicide cop Frank Harriman to crack the case, but details of what O'Connor had learned about the killing are long in coming. Burke punctuates her too leisurely exposition with graphic, effective scenes of murder and attempted murder, although she depicts the menacing assassins more as machines than as human beings and provides a plausible explanation for all the violence only at her story's very end. Still, she writes with remarkable sensitivity about the physical and spiritual reactions of people terrorized by cold-blooded killers, and her gift for characterization somewhat compensates for her still-rudimentary pacing skills.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The bombing death of best friend and journalist O'Connor shocks Irene Kelly, herself an investigative reporter, into pursuing his last story--the as-yet-unsolved mutilation murder of a young woman back in 1955. Kelly collaborates with former flame Detective Harriman in her desire to identify the woman, but not without experiencing murder attempts, car chases, and a return of affection. Level-headed and unflappable, heroine Irene stands poised for a promising new series, despite the guessable villain and a lapse or two in dialog.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Medium boiled crime novel with much to praise March 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very proficient debut novel in what has gone on to become an established series about Californian newspaperwoman Irene Kelly.
The book has -quite literally -an explosive start ,when Irene's friend and mentor the veteran journalist O'Connor is blown to pieces by a parcel bomb .Soon afterwards she herself is shot at in her own home and her former brother in law Kenny ,a resident in O'Connor's home is savagely beaten up and hospitalised .
She begins digging into O'Connor's recent cases and one turns out to be the key to events -an unsolved "Jane Doe " murder from 30 years previously about which O,Connor had repeatedly written . He was getting close to revealing both the identity of the murdered girl and in the process uncovering facts which several prominemt local politcal and social figures would rather leave in obscurity .
By continuing where O,Connor left off Irene is placing herself and others in harm's way -and the body count is by no means over
with Irene the target of two attempted murders before the case is wrapped up
Along the way she re-ignites a previous relationship with the detective in charge of the case and finds time to act as matchmaker to her oldest friend as well as getting closer to her sister
The book is moderately violent but not in lip smackingly gloating way and it occups the mid ground betwen cosy and hard boiled styles .
Good start to a series I will explore more deeply
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1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Book July 31 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I got this to read for a trip, and am very sorry I did. I can't believe anyone ever gave this a good review. It is so bad! First of all, "Irene Kelly" is a very pale, bland rip-off of Kay Scarpetta without half her intelligence or personality. Second of all, the plot is completely predictable, trite and stereotypical. There is not one shred of originality in the entire thing. Third, the writing, as other reviewers have pointed out, is so bad it is unbelieveable that this ever went through an editor and got published. I think this is just someone who has succeeded in stealing Patricia Cornwell's formula, but without one tenth of her talent. Don't waste your money!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fast, fun read Jan. 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found the book to be fast paced and highly entertaining. I picked it up for casual reading but it became a one-sitting read that had me up late because I just couldn't put it down. From the opening chapter of the book, the plot does not stop barreling ahead(although in a movie-ish bang 'em up and shoot 'em out kind of way). The ending also has the obligatory twist that I normally expect, but just didn't see coming in this book. Hard core mystery fans may not find it meaty enough, but I found it a great quick read and I'll definitely read the rest of the series.
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