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Hook Hardcover – 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Scribner (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684850435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684850436
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 2.6 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,101,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
Meg Gillis, former cop, runs a security agency with her partner Michael Johnson. They provide protective devices for all kinds of businesses and homes. One night Mike tells her he needs to find someone to deliver divorce papers to the abusive husband of a woman he knows. Meg insists that she will deliver them herself, in disguise, because she was afraid Mike would lose his temper. Imagine her surprise when Rudolpho de la Pena not only takes the papers with no argument but invites her to stay and have a drink.
Things go rapidly downhill from here. Meg feels compelled to find out what is happening and why. She has been dating Sgt. Reilly of the Beverly Hills Police Department and he is not at all happy about her "investigations." He wants her to stay out of the whole situation and let the police do their job. And yet Meg feels obligated to keep goading people to find out what they know.
The underlying plot in this book is the relationship between Meg and Reilly. Both are very strong personalities, trying to somehow fit together, and both are demanding. Meg wants to be free to do what she wants, even when she knows it is reckless, and she tends to push at things to see what will happen. Reilly wants her to stay out of danger and also not make his job any harder. In a sense the two are competing, Meg wanting to prove she can take care of herself and Reilly believing she can't. In addition Meg has been married before, to a policeman killed in a drive-by shooting, and she believes Charlie would not have tried to control her so much.
At any rate, Meg pokes and prods. Several men seem to be following her around. An organization called Free Argentina and a business called Madrigala International are somehow involved.
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Format: Hardcover
Following the death of her police officer husband, Meg Gillis left the force to open up a security business in Beverly Hills with her good friend Mike Johnson, a former cop. An irate Mike is going to serve divorce papers to Rudolpho de la Pena, a former Argentine soccer star, who battered his wife Sylvia. Meg worries that her partner is too eager to deliver the papers and decides to serve them herself.

Meg goes to the Chaven Restaurant where she knows Rudolpho is enjoying a meal in front of plenty of witnesses. Instead of violence, Rudolph is friendly as if he has known Meg for a long time. Meg is confused because the stoic individual acts like a perfect gentleman, not an abusing husband. When Rudolpho commits suicide, Meg cannot stop herself from investigating, which earns her the displeasure of her lover police sergeant Joe Reilly and Mike. Her inquiries guide Meg to a conspiracy that could further lead to the death of her two male companions and herself.

C.J. Songer made a strong debut with her first Meg tale, BAIT. As difficult as it may seem, her second novel, HOOK, is an even better mystery. The complex story line retains an easiness that allows readers to track the investigation that suggests a real life case. Dry wit runs through the pages especially when the independent Meg clashes with the protective Reilly. Ms. Songer baits her audience with a wonderful novel that hooks the reader from start to finish.

Harriet Klausner
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By bookstealth on Nov. 22 1999
Format: Hardcover
I rated this as 4 star rather than 5 solely on the comparison to Songer's first novel. It continues some great characters (Meg Gillis, Joe Reilly, her slightly flaky partner, etc.). The development of the primary characters is good; they grow, and along logical, explained lines. My one caveat links plot w/ character development, though.
The plot evolution (no spoilers follow) depends on the relationship between Meg's partner and another person who never appears directly in the narrative. This is probably accurate police work, but it makes for slightly puzzling reading. This missing character's role is pivotal to solving the mystery. (And would have provided a nice opening to develop the primary character, too.) Again, this probably accurate for real life police work.
Meg also spends a fair amount of time running down answers that others (hint: her hunky cop Joe) find easily through official channels. I found this both funny, ironic and pointed. A big part of Meg is her conflict over NOT being a cop anymore. For me, it emphasized both her isolation and ingenuity, working around obstacles her old badge would have levelled quickly.
All this is just explication. Songer only rates a 4 compared to her own boffo 5 debut. Compared to 95% of the perky/forumulaic/yadda yadda competition, this is still a solid hit. Betcha once the self-fulfilling 2nd book curse nerves wear off, she'll turn out to be one of the stars. Good damned read. Check it out.
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Format: Hardcover
C. J. songer creates characters that you can't help but care about. They're flawed but decent people. Perhaps Songer's people come alive because she was a law enforcement person and she truly respects her peers.
This episode starts when Mike Johnson, Meg Gillis' partner in their fledgling private security firm, asks her to serve divorce papers on the abusive husband of a client with whom he's sort of involved. The husband is more likeable than Meg had anticipated and she has a drink to commisserate with him. When he turns up dead Meg's not only a suspect, but embroiled in an increasingly more dangerous situation. Her sometimes boyfriend Reilly, a Beverly Hills Police Seargeant, warns her off the case, which is police business, but when she gets into trouble he's there to protect her.
Songer keeps the story moving with crisp dialogue and solid plotting. I look forward to Meg's next adventure.
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