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The Narrows
The Narrows
by Michael Connelly
Edition: Hardcover
88 used & new from CDN$ 0.23

5.0 out of 5 stars ., May 25 2004
This review is from: The Narrows (Hardcover)
"Stay out of the narrows...",
the children of Los Angeles are told. Of Connelly's 14th novel, which takes its name from the LA flood drainage system, it is advice best taken. If you are new to his work, that is - because THE NARROWS is essentially both a coming together of all Connelly's work up to this point, and, I think, a renaissance. If you're a long-term reader, disregard it entirely. Dive in. Indeed, you probably already have.
The Poet is back in business. The serial killer escaped at the conclusion of Connelly's novel of the same name. The official word, though, was that he had been killed. But now he's surfaced again, and leads the FBI to a site in the barren Mojave desert where they begin to uncover fresh victims. The FBI brings in agent Rachel Walling, who worked the original case, as an advisor. Meanwhile, in L.A....an old acquaintance of Harry Bosch's dies. His widow comes to the retired homicide-detective-turned-PI and asks him to investigate, citing some very suspicious circumstances that suggest the death was anything but natural.
The pre-publication buzz about this novel was remarkable - helped along no doubt by the fact that no advanced copies were doled out, destined in the end for sites like eBay. The level of hype may be part of the reason why I'm a little disappointed. Hell, not very though, it's still a terrific book. Although while I was suspecting it might be Connelly's best, it's not quite.
As I've said, THE NARROWS is a melding of all his work to date. As a result, it is actually not quite as convincing as all the other Bosch novels unfailingly are. Too, Connelly has always been excellent at stitching his work into real-life; other authors often try, but the result often seems perfunctory and vacuous. Here, though, while the copious references might absolutely delight some fans, I thought he went slightly over the top, referencing to such an extent that it sometimes becomes rather surreal, making this book neither of this world nor quite of the fictional one - it seems to exist in an awkward limbo. Sometimes, the touches are magical, but here I think he's trying slightly too hard - after all, the reader is all too aware of the true nature of Connelly's world, and the fact that these characters and events don't exist in reality, just their own internal one - even if it's nice to think that, somewhere, they may do, and no matter how many times they chat about the movie Blood Work. (It was nice to see Ian Rankin, though, if only in pictorial rather than corporeal form!)
All that above, though, is just me being pedantic and silly. Because, when it comes right down to it, I did love this book. I didn't even mind too much that we don't spend a lot of time in L.A., Connelly's evocation of which is masterful and a great strength of his series. After a while, I didn't at all miss the exceptional passages about the city. Mainly because I didn't have time to, the plot moves at such thrilling pace. It's slick, engrossing, and interlocks just as excellently as it did in The Poet. I certainly would not be surprised if Connelly, and his characters, came back from this work even stronger than before. Considering that he's probably the best crime writer in America, that bodes incredibly well. He's also the most accomplished crime writer I know at keeping his series fresh, and once again there's a wealth of new directions he could go after this.
THE NARROWS is very well-written, very enjoyable, and very clever. It shows a crime-writer writing as crime-writers write best. The conclusion, incorporating the aforementioned narrows, is tense and, along with a nice twist, forms an excellent culmination to the book.
The last word, though, must go to Bosch. Almost stereotypically fascinating, he stands out because he is probably the least static protagonist in all crime fiction. Both his situation and his character are continually undergoing an evolution, and of course even more is to come now that he's discovered he's a parent:
"All I knew was that I didn't want to teach her anything. I felt tainted by the paths I had taken in my life and the things I knew. I had nothing from it I wanted her to have. I just wanted her to teach me."

Like A Charm: A Novel In Voices
Like A Charm: A Novel In Voices
by Karin Slaughter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.39
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars sucessful collection, May 25 2004
The basis of this short-story collection is an original and intriguing one: each story, while entirely independent, follows the life of a charm bracelet, from its creation in Georgia in 1803, through time and across oceans, until it eventually ends up back in Georgia again. In each story, the bracelet plays its part, almost always brining bad luck to the one who has come to possess it. It's a short-story collection that could almost be read as a quirky novel. The only downside to this idea is that the connections of each story, through the life of the charm bracelet, should in some cases be made a lot clearer - once or twice it was hard or impossible to create a logical connection between one story and the next, and the old "so and so bought in an Pawn/Antique Shop" device was greatly overused - then as a whole this collection would be more powerful than it is.
The stories are incredibly varied; set in times and places as different as the American South in the 19th century to wartime Leeds in the 20th. In one, an accusation has dire consequences. In another, a train journey becomes anything but mundane. A sax player ends up getting more than he bargained for when he does a favour for a friend. A school-teacher's outing to London turns altogether more twisted. And a desperate writer makes a fateful purchase in exchange for inspiration...
I am very much a devotee of the short-story; they are perfect for slotting into a dead half-hour, ideal if you want a single-sitting read. Quick pleasure, instant satisfaction - if they're of quality. And, if you pick right - maybe one of Ruth Rendell's beautifully twisted masterpieces, of Ian McEwan's elegant, concise works - then they can be just as good as a novel. While the stories here aren't really of that quality (well, except for one; I'll get to that in a minute) they do align into a very good, entertaining and satisfying collection. Each piece is taut and well-tuned, written with the sharp succinctity and ability to shock that marks out the best of the form. Some of the writers you will have heard of: Peter Robinson, Mark Billingham, and Lee Child, for example. Others maybe not: Emma Donohue, for example, whose story "Vanitas" is an excellent little piece set on a plantation in the South. And Peter Moore Smith, or Jerrilyn Farmer, writer of the penultimate story "The Eastlake School", a twisted piece of brilliance. There are definitely a couple of writers here whose work I will be endeavouring to find out more about after reading this. You may too.
Here, all the stories are good (that is pleasing in itself - in every collection there are normally one or two mis-fires) but some of them are excellent: Robinson's "Cornelius Jubb", for example, or "Plan B" by Kelley Armstrong, to name just two among several. However, one story here does stand far, far above them all, and that is John Connolly's "The Inkpot Monkey". It's the sort of story of which one might say "it alone is worth the price of this book", but for the fact that it would be rather silly to actually contemplate spending $20+ on just 15 pages of text. The sentiment remains the same, though. It is an eerie, slightly surreal tale about a man suffering writer's block who goes to great lengths in order to rediscover his muse. Told with flair and punch, is explores several themes, such as, What does it mean to be a writer? More precisely, What of themselves do writers put into their work? What is required of them, what must they give in order to create and be inspired? And, ultimately, Is it worth it? And, having given it, What then? It is a brilliant, remarkable story, and is the real gem of this pleasing, ingenuitive collection. Despite the fact that the sometimes poor linkage takes away from the concept of this collection, Like A Charm is worth a look for fans of this form.

Murder on the Leviathan: A Novel
Murder on the Leviathan: A Novel
by Boris Akunin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.36
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars funny, eccentric, ingenious!, May 9 2004
I'm afraid I might have done Boris Akunin a great disservice. I thought The Winter Queen was a decidedly average read; I didn't find the plot too gripping, and I disliked the style. Now, there's nothing I can do about the plot: I've simply never been fond of "adventure" stories, so I'm not particularly going to like a pastiche of one, either - as The Winter Queen was. However, I must have been in some bizarre mood, because I found the style of Leviathan to be an absolute delight!
This is the third Erast Fandorin novel - the second to be translated into English (Turkish Gambit, the real 2nd, is scheduled for publication in December). Here, we see less of Fandorin than we did in TWQ, or it certainly seems like it. This is partly because Leviathan is told from five different perspectives. One is that of French "Investigator of Especially Important Cases", Gustav Gauche (who definitely lives up to his name); the remaining four perspectives are those of four main suspects in a murder inquiry (two of these are told in the 3rd person, two in the 1st). Thus we see Fandorin through only their eyes, making him a decidedly enigmatic and intriguing detective.
The crime being investigated is the murder, in Paris, of Lord Littleby, collector of fine things, and nine members of his staff. (Yes, nine.) Due to a clue left at the crime scene (in the form of a badge shaped as a golden whale), Gauche deduces that the murderer will be one of the passengers on the steamship Leviathan - newly built and embarking upon its maiden voyage to Calcutta. He boards the ship and begins his enquiries, trying to sift out the murder from the 142 first-class passengers (yes, 142.)
As evidenced partly by the ridiculous number of suspects and murder victims (in the end it totals 11), Akunin is clearly having a good time pointing fun at the traditions of the detective genre. And he does it very well indeed. Leviathan is an excellent detective story in its own right, while all the while it gently makes fun of itself and the genre - as TWQ did with espionage fiction. It is a hilarious novel at times; a brilliant, incredibly clever pastiche.
Akunin's main source here is, of course, Agatha Christie. The set-up is immediately recognisable as almost classic Christie, a la Murder on the Orient Express or Death on the Nile. He even manages to work in Cards on the Table and The Clocks (particularly hilariously!) among others, and that is on top off the usual Russian literary influences. For example, one of the periphery characters mentioned is named "Marcel Prout".
Leviathan is an absolutely excellent novel. I would recommend it to anyone. It is not necessary to have read The Winter Queen, and I'd probably advise that you just jump straight in here. Akunin's 2nd novel in translation is an incredibly sharp, teasing, funny, and ingenious mystery, with a great set of characters. A Japanese passenger, one of the four main suspects, is particularly wonderful. Certainly, it was his sections of the book I enjoyed most of all, highlighting fascinatingly the class of 19th century cultures. Plus, his sections of narrative are the only time I have ever come across a book that is part-written in what I can only describe as "landscape".

Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver
Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver
by Jeffery Deaver
Edition: Hardcover
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars excellent short story collection, May 8 2004
From reading Deaver's novels, it is abundantly clear that his style, and his love of injecting a twist into a story, would be perfectly suited to the short story form. "Twisted" proves that that is true.
This is a collection of 16 of his stories (apparently the first of a planned two volumes), some of them award-winning, all of them excellent examples of how to write crime genre short stories. If you don't like the crime genre, though, I would you against this collection. If you prefer literature, you'll find them fatuous. They are, I suppose - they mean little and the characters are pretty hollow when it comes right down to it. However, if you want a good series of shocks and surprises, this really is the collection for you. It is EXCELLENT in that respect.
Some of the stories are absolutely excellent. For example, "Triangle" is possible a work of crime-writing genius. Absolutely brilliant. Every story has an unexpected twist. It's possible that you may be able to guess a couple, as you gradually work your way into Deaver's mindset, as I did, but even seeing twists coming, I think, gives you a great sense of satisfaction. There are one or two entertaining oddities, too. "All The World's A Stage" is a historical crime story, in which Shakespeare pops up. Some of the dialogue is laughable, the historical detail suspect, but the story itself is absolutely cracking. Despite it's flaws, it's very fine entertainment indeed.
They're written excellently, in just the way crime short stories should be. Every sentence is telling; every sentence has its function and does its work. Characters are developed as well as they can be in such small frames, and plots are wrought well too.
The only problem with a collection like this, is that, when stripped down, all 16 stories are rather similar, certainly in their devices. If you read this book as you would a novel, all in one go, I can imagine them getting pretty repetitive. It is probably best to read a story every couple of days. That's what I did, and I really enjoyed this. It was a great pleasure to be lead by the hand by Mr Deaver, and be surprised and then surprised again.

Death At La Fenice
Death At La Fenice
by Donna Leon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
88 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars superb debut, May 5 2004
I've read Leon's books out of order, but I don't think it really matters. They are simply excellent, however you read them. Death at la Fenice is the first, and is surprisingly assured and polished for a debut that was written after a challenge from a friend. Given that this is a first performance, Leon was clearly a natural writer for this genre.
This is the first apearance of Guido Brunetti, who is called in to investigate after the death of an eminent conductor part-way through a performance of La Triviata. He was poisoned in his dressing room. The press will be baying for a solution; with every day that passes when this murderer roams free a great slur is wrought on the name of Venice.
As Brunetti diligently digs away, he uncovers a portrait of a complex and fascinating man, but one who has made a very unhealthy number of enemies on his way to the top...
Anyone anywhere who is a fan of crime novels simply cannot ignore Donna Leon. You must pick up one of her sublime books immediately, and you are gauranteed enjoyment. There is such an easy to the writing, and she plots so very well. It moves along at excellent pace, and all manner of secrets and suspects creep fromt he woodwork, and she still manages to produce an absolutely astounding solution which is incredibly satisfying indeed, despite the fact that it seems to break one crime fictions golden rules. That matters not, though; Donna Leon can do absolutely anything. In terms of crime novels, she can do no wrong at all.
Death at la Fenice is a first-class piece of fiction, and Venice makes for an inspired backdrop which she utilises very well indeed. Buy it.

Death's Acre
Death's Acre
by bill bass
Edition: Hardcover
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.32

5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting work on forensics, April 3 2004
This review is from: Death's Acre (Hardcover)
In all honesty, this book labours under a pretty distinct false pretence. Well, an implied one. From the blurb and the cover, you may infer this to be a book about the Anthropology Research Facility (or, to give it its more colourful soubriquet, the body farm) but it isn't really. The implied impression is misleading. Instead, it is really a biography of Dr Bill Bass who is, as the author info puts it, a "colossus of forensic anthropology". Among other topics, it charts his career in forensics, from when he first began excavating Arikara graves in South Dakota, to the present day. He presents us with some of his most striking cases, with several chapters almost turning into short forensic detective stories.
As background along the way, we are also treated to a brief history of forensic anthropology. We see the development of the science, and how crucial techniques investigators now use in their work first came into being. The "body farm", of course, does feature, sometimes very heavily, but it is not really the focus of the book. Still, readers who pick this up solely for a book about the farm shouldn't be disappointed; we still discover plenty about it and its history, still get an insight into its workings, the methods of those who work there to investigate the processes at work on the body after death, and still get plenty of anecdotes about how the work at the body farm has helped in many forensic cases. There's a wealth of information, but there is a lot more about other general matters.
"Death's Acre" is possibly the perfect book for anyone who is marginally interested in forensics. It doesn't glorify it by any means (anyway, is it possible to truly glorify decaying flesh?) or remove any of the unpleasantness, but it does present it in a riveting light. It treats its subject with respect, and goes into a detail that is fascinating but never brutal or exploitive.
It is also a strangely warm book. There's a strong humanity which comes through from Dr Bass himself. He both loves his subject and hates that it is necessary. It is his personality which softens this book, gives it its compassion and humour and removes some of the harsh edge. Some may not welcome that, but I did. It may cover a sometimes unpleasant topic, but it is strangely comforting.
Something else that makes this such an interesting and unthreatening read is the language. Techniques are explained well (even if the writing does feed off a truly American adulation of acronyms) and the science comes to life.
There are a couple of downsides, though. At times, the descriptive writing is rather awkwardly melodramatic. Phrases are thrown in to add drama and instead had me rolling my eyes. "Dr Snow and I were located in Lexington, just thirty miles from the scene of that early-morning truck collision. Although I didn't know it at the time, I was about to collide head-on with my future," for example. This sort of overblown language just didn't sit right. For the most part, though, is well-told and entertaining to read, and I admit that I did think a one or two of the descriptions were rather inspired, as in the case of "a rattlesnake with a neck as thick as a grave-digger's wrist".
I must also admit that by the finish the constant flow of unidentified bodies was growing tiresome. There are a quite of few of these sorts of cases covered in detail, and I got a little bored of our team of intrepid investigators receiving phone calls and tramping out to scenes, then having to undergo the arduous task of identifying skeletons again and again. It was interesting the first couple of times, but by the end I felt so acquainted with the process that I was keen to have a bash myself and get it over with. ("Ah, yes. The pubic symphysis has clearly ossified. From this I can conclude that our victim was...")
Overall, though, this is warm, entertaining and informative trawl through the history and techniques of forensic anthropology, Dr Bill Bass's life, and the body farm. For those interested in the subject (and I imagine many who read crime fiction are) then this comes highly recommended.

Bad Men: A Thriller
Bad Men: A Thriller
by John Connolly
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars adequate is the word, March 21 2004
This review is from: Bad Men: A Thriller (Hardcover)
Bad men are coming to the island of Sanctuary. These bad men, led by the vicious Moloch, are coming to seek out and punish Rita, his wife, who before running away to hide from him on the quiet, insular island, stole two important things from Moloch: his son and a substantial amount of cash.
Sanctuary itself has a bloody history: in 1693 a group of settlers on the island were betrayed to their enemies and slaughtered. Since then, the island has rested in three hundred years of peace. But, now the Bad Men are on the way; the Bad Men with their violence and malintent, and strange things are starting to happen on Sanctuary. The inhabitants can sense them, sense the changes. The island is waking once more. It is restless now, and it will not tolerate the shedding of blood any longer. Yet still the bad men come.
Clearly, this supernatural novel is a departure from Connolly's normal work. But is it? Well, actually, not really. His books have always been smattered with supernatural happenings among the violence, ghostly goings-on, and they have worked to brilliant atmospheric effect in his Charlie Parker novels. However, this one is a full-blown supernatural thriller (with, strangely, hints of a Western about it - as the bad guys breeze into town and the Sheriff stands up against them - which is odd but invigorating). He takes the horror and mystical elements, and puts them all in one book, underpinned by the traditional thriller template. Obviously it is a risk for any author to depart from their norm. The important question is: does it work? The answer is yes, partly.
Without any doubt, Connolly writes with lyrical brilliance, as exemplified marvellously by the opening to the book: "Moloch dreams. In the darkness of a Virginia prison cell, he stirs like an old demon goaded by memories of its lost humanity," and nothing can take that away from him. Bad Men is a pleasure if only for the ethereal, vivid prose which bathes the descriptions in a sunset-like glow. It is also a pleasure for the presence of Melancholy Joe Dupree, the giant policeman who guards the island. He is a masterpiece of a character: gentle, damaged by the isolation caused by his physical difference, lonely, and yet prepared to go to great lengths of violence to do his duty, he will not be forgotten easily once the book is put down. The other characters, though, are nothing really special or very well well-drawn.
The supernatural elements, too, are merely adequate. Personally, sometimes I felt that they actually took away from the power of the story in some instances. Sometimes, they contributed, along with the Western schemas, to the fact that the main plot thrust is, on occasion, pretty predictable, and bits dragged because of that. In others, though, the horror and supernatural influences do create a brilliant eerie atmosphere and some excellent paths for the story, and the haunting recurring image of those grey moths is not going to leave me for some distinct while.
For those that lament the fact that this isn't a Parker book, he does make a brief appearance, even though I know that that is no real consolation. He will return (indeed, in 2005 I believe, with "The Black Angel"). And, I am sure that as Connolly stretches his literary wings in this fashion, he will be back all the better for it. If nothing else, this book will allow Connolly to grow and develop as a writer, which can only be to the benefit of his series. In the meantime, pick up Bad Men and enjoy. It's not excellent, but it's adequate, and the electrifying show-down finale is undeniably thrilling reading. Bad Men is just about worth its money.

The Crocodile Bird
The Crocodile Bird
by Ruth Rendell
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly her best book, March 18 2004
Because I am lazy, by way of a synopsis I am just going to copy from this book's blurb:
Liza and her mother have led a strange, enclosed life in their remote home, the gatehouse of a country mansion. But now all this must end. Eve has told Liza she must leave. Because Eve has killed a man. And he is not the first.
At seventeen years of age, with £100 in cash, Liza is cast adrift into a terrifying world she has never known. But she is not alone. For there is one secret that she has kept from her mother - her love-affair with Sean, the young man from the big house. With him, Liza gradually learns about the world, about herself, and must come to terms with the possibility that the murderous violence of her mother may also be present in her.
The Crocodile Bird (I love that title) is one of those very curious Rendell titles: one that is more literature than a crime novel, and one that is also very close to the style of the books published under her Barbara Vine name, in that it deals heavily with ideas about the effect of hidden crimes from the past coming to haunt the present. Indeed, this should probably have been published under that other name, so similar is it in style.
If I were forced to pick a favourite title by Rendell...no, strike that. I couldn't possibly choose a favourite. If I were forced to pick a top five, this would unquestionably be in there somewhere. Thinking about it, though, I am finding it hard to elucidate upon exactly why, apart from saying something like, It's brilliant. It is, that is true, but there is far more that can be said about it.
Everything about it is fascinating: How Liza copes as she is forced to venture out alone into the world and "discover" everything her mother has kept hidden from her; the relationship between Liza and her mother: the developing relationship between Liza and Shaun, as she gradually grows more dependent, away from her "protector"; the gradual unfolding of the events from the past, and the tale of Liza's upbringing, isolated in the gatehouse. Its atmosphere grows incrementally more sinister as Rendell sticks each needle into the doll with relish.
It's not as crime-ey as her other books; there's little mystery, only carefully explored tension. It is delicate and graceful, and the ending is a delight. It is entirely different in tone from the norm of Rendell finales: it is less catastrophic, and unlike many of her books little of the restrained brutality manages to seep out into the conclusion. Instead, we have an ending that tells us that sometimes, things may not turn out as badly as we expect. They may not turn out as we would wish, but people can overcome hurdles and the damage of their lives and have functional, normal lives. We are not necessarily confined by our upbringing.
It's a fascinating, compelling and powerful book. Observing Liza as she finds her way in the world is a priceless experience. Rendell shows us the quirks of our world, and she makes the mundane aspects of it which we are all so familiar with seem magical and remarkable, when seen from the eyes of one who has never known it before. This, in all justice, should have been Booker-winning stuff.

Doctored Evidence: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
Doctored Evidence: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
by Donna Leon
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Another delightful Brunetti experience, March 16 2004
Last year, the publication of US ex-pat Donna Leon's Uniform Justice - about a murder in an Italian military academy - marked her much-lauded return to the American stage after 7 years. (They ceased to be published originally because she believed the way her publishers were marketing her books was "vulgar".) The rest of the world over, she has been a regular feature on the bestseller lists, and determined American fans have only been able to acquire foreign copies. Thankfully, that is now slowly changing. Why thankfully? Because her Commissario Guido Brunetti series, set in her adopted home-city of Venice, is one of the most enjoyable currently being produced. It is a huge big sparkling gem in the crown of crime fiction - it is a treasure trove of pure enjoyment.
Doctored Evidence is the 13th in the award-winning series, and just as good as all the rest. An unpleasant old-woman is found murdered in her apartment by her doctor. She was not liked. Treating her maids no better than slaves, and keeping her television on loud almost every night are just two of the behaviours which alienate her from her neighbours. Suspicion immediately falls on her Romanian maid, who is missing and heading back to her country. As the police catch up with her at a train station on the border, she flees in desperation, and is killed as she runs across the tracks into the path of a train.
Finding a large amount of money on her person, they believe they've found their woman. That is, until one of the victim's neighbours returns from a business trip in London, with strong evidence to suggest that she was not the killer. The investigating officer dismisses her, passing her off to Brunetti, who starts to investigate the case unofficially, and uncovers a mystery far more complex than the one they all suspected.
The fact that Leon writes these novels purely for pleasure (she has said that she would far rather attend the opera if it came to a choice) and not for fame or money (uncomfortable with any kind of "celebrity", she refuses to allow them to be published in Italy) really shines through this marvellous series. It is infused with something marvellous. This is crime fiction for the sake of it. It is pure and it is wonderful.
That's not to say it isn't serious, either, because it is. Donna Leon does for Venice what Ruth Rendell does for Britain and Michael Connelly for L.A. Like many great crime writers, Leon uses her fiction as a way of highlighting things about the world - in this case specifically Venice - which concern her. Indeed, often they expose a level of corruption which Signor Berlusconi would not be at all pleased about! Doctored Evidence focuses perhaps less on general civic corruption - although Leon can't resist throwing hints of it into the mix - and more on a kind of personal corruption, while still managing to write as piercingly and fascinatingly about the society of Venice as ever. She is in the fortunate position of an outsider able to look at a society from the inside, and she utilises that advantage brilliantly for her portrait of the city. These novels are practically drenched in culture, and their protagonist is wonderfully refreshing: he is not hard or gritty, nor particularly flawed or jaded; he is just a normal Italian, a very moral man who wrestles every day with justice and its ambiguities. Plus, his wife is wonderful! The plots are refreshing, too, in the way of much European fiction: they are much less formulaic than some American or British fiction. Leon's mysteries are predictable only in their excellence. Doctored Evidence is a wonderful novel, a pure, sublime joy that no reader should allow to pass by.

3rd Degree
3rd Degree
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
137 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars what the heck..., March 5 2004
This review is from: 3rd Degree (Hardcover)
... is going on here??? ...sorry, but I felt compelled to comment upon the ridiculous deluge of reviews which happen to mention The Ghost Country...this is NOT the forum to promote a book in such a way, and no amazon customer is, quite frankly, stupid enough not to realise when a person is logging reviews under multiple names. Shame on you, whoever you are! (Shame on you even more for boosting the average star-review for this dire book!)
It looks as if they've all been removed now...which makes this review hugely irrelevant

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