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In a stunningly assured debut, Smith has produced a crime thriller distinguished by an unflagging pace, authoritative use of detail and an appealing heroine. In vigorous, literate prose, Smith delivers characters of depth and dimension who inhabit the wildly diverse worlds of Southern California, each rendered with a cinematic eye. Her protagonist is Ana Grey, an ambitious, brash young FBI agent. With seven years in the L.A. field office and a recent "perfect bust" of a bank robber, Ana is ready to move up. A resentful superior stands in the way, however, and instead of getting transferred, Ana is assigned to a high-profile case involving a megawatt movie star of a certain age who has brought charges against a local doctor for addicting her to drugs. At the same time, Ana receives a phone call asking her to help the two young children of a recent street-shooting victim in Santa Monica--an immigrant from El Salvador who told friends that Ana was her cousin. Ana insists it's a hoax: abandoned as an infant by her father, a migrant worker from Mexico, she was raised by her mother, now deceased, and her beloved grandfather, a retired Santa Monica cop. Then Ana learns that the Salvadoran woman had worked for the physician charged in the drug case and finds herself tangled in events that lace together both personal and professional aspects of her life and trigger a troubling series of forgotten memories of her childhood. Moving through an array of settings--L.A.'s crowded Latino section, El Piojilla; the blue-collar Santa Monica neighborhood of her youth; the modern elegance of the "overbuilt upscale enclave" known as "north of Montana"--Ana grapples with more death, Hollywood politics, personal betrayal and her own seething desires. Wisely leaving some ends untied, Smith resolves the central themes of this seamless narrative in this smashing story. 200,000 first printing; Literary Guild selection; Random House AudioBook.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
YA?Santa Monica, north of Montana Avenue, is "the land of the newly rich," a place where FBI agent Ana Grey definitely feels out of place. It is to these households that she must go when she is assigned to investigate a drug case involving a handsome doctor and a has-been film star. And it is to the working-class household of her own childhood, just a few blocks to the south, that she must go to solve a mystery concerning her family. Both stories intersect when a poor, young Hispanic woman who claimed to be a relative of Ana's long-dead father is brutally murdered. In addition, there is the problem of the dead woman's two young children left in the care of a neighbor who cannot afford to keep them for very long. Two other threads enliven this tale: one centers on Ana's career struggles as a female agent proving herself to her male bosses and the guys in the "bullpen." The other is her coming to terms with a growing romantic attraction to her partner, Mike Donnato. Ana Grey is an interesting addition to the growing ranks of independent-minded fictional female detectives. YAs who enjoy rich characterization and unexpected plot twists will appreciate the complications in her life. At the end of the novel enough threads are left hanging to make a sequel most welcome.?Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This is an extraordinary book by a first time author. As an avid mystery reader, I rank this book up there with Michael Connelly. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 1999 by Pall Gudgeirsson
This first novel is terrific! Great writing, a plot that keeps you focused, and fun characters. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by an avid mystery reader.Published on Jan. 13 1999
I can't believe this was her first novel! If you enjoy Robert Parker's Spenser, or Ed McBain's 87th precinct procedurals, you'll love this book! Read morePublished on July 30 1998