Record of Wrongs Hardcover – Feb 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Shamus-winner Straka's disappointing thriller, a departure from his popular Frank Pavlicek series (Cold Quarry, etc.), former campus security guard Quentin Price is released from an upstate New York prison. New DNA evidence suggests Price is not guilty of the crime for which he was convicted—the rape and murder of college student Gwen Crawford nearly a decade earlier. Now Ruth Crawford, the victim's mother, wants Price's help in tracking down the real culprit. When the New York State attorney general drafts Garnell Harris, a veteran NYPD homicide detective, to take a fresh look at Gwen's murder and its possible links to some recent killings, Price finds himself under pressure to bring the true killer to justice. The underdeveloped plot, an unsurprising resolution and the unconvincing 11th-hour redemption of a particularly nasty character make this one of Straka's lesser efforts. Hopefully, this talented author will return to form with his next book. (Feb.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Waiting outside to give him a lift is a face he will never forget; Christine's mother haunted his trial insuring his conviction. Apparently the incestuous Upstate New York prison system works as Ruth Crawford knows the head correctional officer who arranged their meeting. Ruth wants Quentin to find the real killer of her daughter, who brought sorrow and grief to both their families and so far got away with it. At the same time, New York State Deputy Attorney General Bollinger assigns NYPD homicide detective Garnell Harris to investigate the Crawford murder and some recent homicides that look similar. Harris and Quentin will meet on their respective inquiries.
Leaving Frank Pavlicek (see A WITNESS ABOVE) in Charlottesville, Virginia, Andy Straka provides a fast-paced stand alone crime thriller. The story line is fast-paced working along two COLD QUARRY investigations led by Price and Harris respectively ultimately converging. Although the ending seems too miraculous especially the salvation of an odious dark avenging angel, fans will enjoy this interesting whodunit although the sum of Price and Harris fails to equal the whole Pavlicek sleuthing.
His work is simply amazing and Record of Wrongs is likely his best work to date.
The plot reads like something out of the headlines, it kept me up late and just about chewing my fingernails to shreds. He had me guessing right up to the very end.
Why other reviewers focused so much on some typos, which I understand were later fixed and yet managed to ignore the gripping suspense of the story, I just don't get. I literally couldn't put the book down.
I felt the mother's anguish and empathized with the hero's justified resentment of her and the authorities who were still trying to put him back in jail. I could feel the terror when he and the girl's mother were being attacked. The author paints word pictures so well that it all feels very, very real. Too bad that I can't, lol, my reviews are akin to watching the proverbial paint drying, sorry!
I loved all the falconry mysteries, too, but this book stands alone beautifully and is worth several times the price, even if it does have a typo or two... but again, other reviewers are saying they're gone, so don't miss out on this taut legal thriller.
I received a free copy for review. It had no editing errors, so I believe the complaints in previous reviews have been rectified. Don't let them stop you from trying this book.