The 37th Hour Mass Market Paperback – Jan 25 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Compton's bleakly authentic debut procedural set in Minneapolis features Sheriff's Det. Sarah Pribek, who specializes in missing-person cases. Sarah's partner and mentor on the force, Genevieve Brown, retreats to near-catatonia after her daughter is raped and murdered. Compounding this tragedy is the escape of perpetrator Royce Stewart, aka Shorty, who slips the clutch of justice on a technicality. Sarah's husband of two months, Mike Shiloh, a detective with the Minneapolis Police Department, is scheduled to leave on a four-month training stint with the FBI. When Shiloh turns up missing, Sarah finds herself investigating the disappearance of her own husband. Because there are no clues in the present, she sets out on a long and twisted journey into her husband's murky past. Compton tells her story slowly and deliberately, allowing the reader to discover Sarah's secrets as well as Shiloh's, revealing both as complicated, unpredictable characters with dark former lives. Interviews with Shiloh's disaffected family in Utah turn up a sister, Sinclair, who is a deaf poet and university instructor. Even though Shiloh had never mentioned her existence, she proves pivotal to the story and provides vital background clues that point Sarah back home to Minneapolis. There, Genevieve rouses herself and joins Sarah in the Shiloh investigation, which veers in an unexpected direction and leads the two of them to a confrontation with the evil Shorty. Readers looking for perky heroines with sassy girlfriends and humorous man problems would best be advised to seek their mysteries elsewhere. Compton's world is complicated, shadowy and violent, with little cheer and only the barest traces of hope and resolution. Look for Sarah to appear in a sequel, but don't expect it to be easy for anyone. This is first-class, serious crime fiction.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This nail-biter of a debut novel takes off from this proposition: If, as crime experts hold, the first 36 hours in a missing-persons investigation are crucial, what happens after that window has slammed shut? Minneapolis sheriff's detective Sarah Pribek, who sometimes works on missing-persons cases, sees her cop husband off on his trip to the FBI Training Academy in Quantico. He never makes it, but Pribek, not expecting to hear from him during the first flurry of training anyway, doesn't realize things have gone terribly wrong till days--and opportunities--have passed. Compton skillfully weaves together strands of Pribek's life--her husband's disappearance, her best friend's grief over a murdered daughter, and her own foray into saving a suicidal teen--into a complex, shocking whole. From the first scene--a teenage girl teetering on a railway trestle over the Mississippi--to the harrowing resolution, Compton uses suspense as a powerful propellant. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
My impression is that this was a meticulous first effort that just didn't manage to rise above mediocrity. Perhaps experience will be the necessary additional ingredient.
I will not retread the plot points mentioned in other reviews, but I echo those who were disturbed by the radical change in prose and plot of the second half -- it's as if two different authors were at work. The last fifteen pages are especially weak and forced, as if someone was writing on deadline. I have a feeling these were not the original pages when Ms. Compton first submitted her manuscript. Too much of the final act seemed to be strictly from Pribek's narration afterwards instead of the reader being there as discoveries were made. Things were just a bit too tidy.
This is an author I want to read about two or three books from now because by then she'll be the master of her craft. This first effort shows promise, but also some warts.
Sarah Pribeck is a detective that cares about her job, finding missing persons. She has been out of a partner since Genevieve's daughter was raped and murdered and the killer got away on a technicality. Genevieve is having a really tough time dealing with her daughter's loss and Sarah finds herself disoriented when her husband, Shiloh, disappears on the weekend he was supposed to travel to Quantico, to start the FBI program as a new trainee. Through the first moments of the search we realize how important Genevieve is to Sarah, since the latter keeps going back to the tips and recommendations the former provided in the past. With the time running against her and without being able to convince Genevieve to help, Sarah finds herself taking a plunge into Shiloh's past in the search for clues to solve the mysterious disappearance, finding a myriad of things she did not know about the man she has been married to for two months.
There are several things that Compton does astoundingly well; for example the description of the characters and their emotions. I also find interesting the fact that the author focuses on creating a thriller with no romantic undertones; one can get tired of the formula used by many in which a female heroine is drawn to a "strong male" in the setting of a mystery thriller. Where I find a major flaw is in the way that the story is structured, the action keeps stopping for long intervals to go back to events from the past, which in my opinion severely cuts the intensity the book has. With the quality of her writing and the good development of the characters, the author can reach much higher heights that the one she achieved in this first novel.
Most recent customer reviews
This book..the 37th Hour, had a interesting idea as it's central theme, which was the disappearance of the husband of Detective Sarah Pribek, the main character in the novel. . Read morePublished on May 26 2004 by Harry J. Klapper
I really looked forward to buying this book, thank godness I bought it used! Jodi Compton did not let you get to know the characters in her book, so that you never really cared... Read morePublished on April 14 2004 by P. Blades
Minnesota Detective Sarah Pribek is faced with a very real problem. Her new husband, a fellow officer on his way for training to become an FBI agent, has disappeared. Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Larry
Starting out as a missing person story this debut novel by Jodi Compton slowly evolves into a wonderfully emotional hunt that raises some difficult questions of whether ethics... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Untouchable
I had heard good things about this book so I was anxious to read it. I really wouldn't consider it a mystery, more of a fiction type of book. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004
Sheriff's Det. Sarah Pribek's daughter is raped and murdered. Then perpetrator Shorty gets away with it. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2004
First let me start by saying that I really enjoyed the way this author writes. I just finished this book last night. It was a very fast read for me. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2004