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Seventh Inning Stretch [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Gunn
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 22 2002 Jake Hines Mysteries
TAKING OUT THE TRASH

Adjusting to his new role as chief of detectives, Jake Hines smells trouble when a gang of grifters hits town. Ironically, the crime rate in Rutherford, Minnesota, had taken a merciful springtime plunge and Jake had hoped to close some older, unsolved cases. No such luck -- especially when two male corpses are found grotesquely crammed into an alleyway trash can. The condition of the bodies indicates torture, and, adding to the ominous edge, the crime scene garbage can was taken from the property of one of Hines's officers, Bo Dooley, and his drug-addicted wife. The growing sense of urgency escalates when a picnic area reveals a grim surprise and leaves Hines and his force following a trail of dodging, deceit and death in what has fast become their most bizarre and bewildering case to date.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

Gunn fashions a yarn as taut as a short story with all the tension of a clenched fist in her fifth Jake Hines police procedural, after last year's superb Six-Pound Walleye. It's impossible to exaggerate her narrative skill. A bizarre crime two dead men turn up stuffed into a garbage barrel, both brutally beaten and one with a wad of cash stuck in his mouth launches the chief of detectives of the Rutherford, Minn., PD on an investigation that gets only more confusing. Throughout, the reader can't help feeling that Jake and his colleagues will never be able to crack this case, and in fact, the author doesn't dot the last i until the final page. Gunn's concept of the police as an efficient team, each member supplying a piece of the puzzle, helps make this a superior series. In his role as narrator Jake naturally assumes center stage, but he's no Herculean mastermind who figures everything out with his little gray cells. Rather, he's a born leader whose will to solve a case supplies the momentum for his people. Down to earth, haunted by a very credible past, Jake is as real as the chilly Minnesota world around him. Providing domestic interest is his lover, Trudy Hanson, with whom he's bought a farm halfway between their jobs in different cities. The conflicts produced by the financial strain of a mortgage and property repairs serve to add to Trudy and Jake's humanity. Gunn just keeps getting better with each new installment in the series.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Solving crimes, as portrayed on television, is exciting stuff with lots of car chases and rooftop scrambles. But in reality police work is much more mundane, combining old-fashioned detection (interviewing witnesses, chasing dead-end leads, waiting endlessly for crime lab results, etc.) with a bit of luck. One of the best writers of police procedurals today is Gunn, whose "Jake Hines" series (Triple Play, Six-Pound Walleye) takes readers step by step through the intricate process from the discovery of the crime to its solution. In her fifth Hines mystery, the protagonist is still trying to adjust to his administrative duties as chief of detectives while coping with a rash of scams that have hit Rutherford, MN. When the leader of the grifters is found beaten to death, his body stuffed into a dumpster on top of another naked corpse, a string of minor felonies becomes more tangled, especially when it is discovered that the garbage can had come from the backyard of one of Hines's detectives. At the same time, Hines and girlfriend Trudy (a crime scene expert) struggle with the financial and emotional realities of home ownership. Gunn's smooth mix of plausible plot, realistic police details, and very human characters make for a pleasurable read. For most mystery collections. Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Misdirection! Aug. 2 2003
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
What happens when a small-town police force runs up against a series of bizarre events? Science will out, if they understand their police procedures. In Seventh-Inning Stretch, you have two deaths that occur under gruesome and unimaginable circumstances. Finding out what brought it all on will leave you intrigued.
Jake Hines has recently become chief of detectives in Rutherford, Minnesota, and he's finding it hard to supervise rather than taking charge. In the process, he bends everyone a little out of shape and begins to back off . . . just a little.
As the book opens, things are looking up. There's been a temporary lull in serious crimes. So he directs everyone to work on cold cases. He even has time to hear about a series of Murphy and other con games being run by grifters in the small town and its environs. New offices are being constructed and the new furniture is being delivered.
At home, he's settling into the old farmhouse that Trudy Hansen and he have bought together. His only complaint is that her long hours of DNA training on Saturdays leave them with too little time together. He's slightly concerned about how to get the roof fixed, insulation put in and rewiring done . . . but that's what credit cards are for, isn't it? Trudy's not so sure.
Then, everything turns topsy-turvy when a body is found stuffed into a trash bin behind the Lotus Blossom restaurant downtown. But no one saw or heard anything. And what's that stuffed into the stiff's mouth?
Nothing turns out to be what it seems in this exciting story, but with careful research and thinking everything is pretty well sorted out.
I would have rated this book higher, but the modus operandi of the murder was exceedingly gruesome and disgusting.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars strong police procedural June 8 2002
Format:Hardcover
Jake Hines is a captain and the chief of Detectives in the Rutherford Police Department who loves his job only slightly less than he loves his significant other, Trudy Hanson. They live in a farmhouse that needs a lot of work but Jake isn't worried about such trivial thing since he finally has what he always wanted since being a foster child: a place to call home.

A group of grifters consisting of two men, two women and a child descend upon the citizens and merchants of Rutherford, conning them out of their hard-earned money. When two bodies are found in a home garbage can, the police believe that the two male drifters are involved in the crime. Jake and his teams try to solve a double homicide with very little evidence and no leads.

This is the fifth Jake Hines police procedural and it is definitely the best in the series. The police, a tight knit group, are truly baffled by the strange turns in the case and their collective and individual bewilderment humanizes the force. This allows the readers to empathize with and appreciate the hard, often unrewarding work cops do. The hero is a rarity as an person totally happy in his personal and professional life. Elizabeth Ginn continues to deliver an ingenious mystery.

Harriet Klausner
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series! Oct. 30 2002
Format:Hardcover
What can I say? I just really love this series. I found Jake quite by accident on a bargain table and took a chance. This was really serendipity. I promptly bought all that were written and have kept up ever since. I am eagerly awaiting # 8 as I have gotten involved with these characters. MEMLINE
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series! Oct. 30 2002
By jane austen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What can I say? I just really love this series. I found Jake quite by accident on a bargain table and took a chance. This was really serendipity. I promptly bought all that were written and have kept up ever since. I am eagerly awaiting # 8 as I have gotten involved with these characters. MEMLINE
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misdirection! Aug. 2 2003
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What happens when a small-town police force runs up against a series of bizarre events? Science will out, if they understand their police procedures. In Seventh-Inning Stretch, you have two deaths that occur under gruesome and unimaginable circumstances. Finding out what brought it all on will leave you intrigued.
Jake Hines has recently become chief of detectives in Rutherford, Minnesota, and he's finding it hard to supervise rather than taking charge. In the process, he bends everyone a little out of shape and begins to back off . . . just a little.
As the book opens, things are looking up. There's been a temporary lull in serious crimes. So he directs everyone to work on cold cases. He even has time to hear about a series of Murphy and other con games being run by grifters in the small town and its environs. New offices are being constructed and the new furniture is being delivered.
At home, he's settling into the old farmhouse that Trudy Hansen and he have bought together. His only complaint is that her long hours of DNA training on Saturdays leave them with too little time together. He's slightly concerned about how to get the roof fixed, insulation put in and rewiring done . . . but that's what credit cards are for, isn't it? Trudy's not so sure.
Then, everything turns topsy-turvy when a body is found stuffed into a trash bin behind the Lotus Blossom restaurant downtown. But no one saw or heard anything. And what's that stuffed into the stiff's mouth?
Nothing turns out to be what it seems in this exciting story, but with careful research and thinking everything is pretty well sorted out.
I would have rated this book higher, but the modus operandi of the murder was exceedingly gruesome and disgusting. The story would have worked better for me with a more tasteful demise. If you have delicate tastes in your crime fiction, this book may not appeal to you.
After you finish this fine police procedural, think about where you may be assuming that things are one way . . . when they are actually quite different. How can you test your assumptions before you act on them?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong police procedural June 8 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jake Hines is a captain and the chief of Detectives in the Rutherford Police Department who loves his job only slightly less than he loves his significant other, Trudy Hanson. They live in a farmhouse that needs a lot of work but Jake isn't worried about such trivial thing since he finally has what he always wanted since being a foster child: a place to call home.

A group of grifters consisting of two men, two women and a child descend upon the citizens and merchants of Rutherford, conning them out of their hard-earned money. When two bodies are found in a home garbage can, the police believe that the two male drifters are involved in the crime. Jake and his teams try to solve a double homicide with very little evidence and no leads.

This is the fifth Jake Hines police procedural and it is definitely the best in the series. The police, a tight knit group, are truly baffled by the strange turns in the case and their collective and individual bewilderment humanizes the force. This allows the readers to empathize with and appreciate the hard, often unrewarding work cops do. The hero is a rarity as an person totally happy in his personal and professional life. Elizabeth Ginn continues to deliver an ingenious mystery.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect story, perfect length Aug. 11 2005
By J. Rosenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a great series. The characters are complex, their interactions and dialogue realistic within the context of a police procedural. Jake Hines' police work and his life with Trudy are an excellent combination. And, best of all, the author has not felt it necessary to stuff her story full of extraneous material in order to produce a 300-page book when a 200-page book does the job.
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart mouth detective May 8 2014
By N. Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love the Jake Hines series to the point that I'm gradually replacing my paperbacks with hardbacks, and of course rereading them as I do. Jake, his lady Trudy, and their friends and coworkers (cops, forensic technicians, coroners and farmers) are a funny bunch, even when caught up in truly serious crime solving.
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