- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (Jan. 25 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440241367
- ISBN-13: 978-0440241362
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,885,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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
Sarah's life is about to take another nightmarish turn. Her husband of two months, Michael Shiloh, is missing. He was supposed to have reported to the FBI Training Center at Quantico, Virginia, but he never arrived at his destination. Since Sarah has done missing persons work in the past, she takes personal leave to track her husband's movements just before he disappeared.
"The 37th Hour" is a strong first novel for Compton. It is crisply written and very fast-paced, with interesting details about how missing persons investigations are conducted. Sarah is a smart and dedicated cop and she is a sympathetic protagonist. The author vividly describes Sarah's efforts to remain objective while she is inwardly terrified that her husband may be injured or dead. As her investigation deepens, Sarah must face the fact that her husband may have been keeping a large part of his life secret from her.
The weakest element of the book is the ending, which suffers from the "startling revelations" syndrome. Too many authors write engrossing books in which the tension slowly builds, only to end their books with a series of far-out and melodramatic revelations and events. I was looking forward to the denouement of "The 37th Hour," and I was disappointed with the contrived and unsatisfying conclusion. A less sensational and more credible outcome would have worked better. Nonetheless, I loved Sarah Pribek and I think that Jodi Compton has a real feel for writing thrillers.
THE 37TH HOUR by Jodi Compton is a fine, unforgettable debut. My goal is to make sure that people know about it, read it and remember it. And that they are still talking about it years from now, remembering the day that they first discovered her.
The title, THE 37TH HOUR, refers to the truism that after 36 hours it is nearly impossible to find a missing person, or at least find them still living. There are of course exceptions to that --- Elizabeth Smart being the most recent one --- but it generally holds true in those cases where someone goes missing as the result of the bad intent of another or by misadventure. In the case of this novel, it refers to Michael Shiloh, who disappears on the day that he is supposed to leave Minnesota for Quantico, Virginia to begin FBI training. Shiloh is the silent subject of much of THE 37TH HOUR, but the focus of the book is Minneapolis Detective Sarah Pribek, Shiloh's wife, who doggedly pursues the investigation of her husband's disappearance. Pribek is an enigmatic character, as ultimately is Shiloh.
As the story unfolds the reader learns how these two people after an initial encounter drifted slowly, almost reluctantly, toward a more permanent relationship. Pribek's quest takes her into Shiloh's past, including his estranged family. It is Pribek's own past though that ultimately holds the key to Shiloh's mysterious disappearance. Pribek's investigation, however, uncovers secrets and ultimately acts as a catalyst that will change her life forever.
Compton's character development in THE 37TH HOUR is simply incredible. Pribek, almost from the opening page of her first person narration, gives the subtle impression that she is not entirely on balance. There is a reason for this --- she carries some baggage with her --- and her quietly odd relationship with Shiloh is but one manifestation of the quiet turmoil within her. As is occasionally noted in Alanon meetings, however, a "ten" doesn't marry a "two." And by the conclusion of THE 37th HOUR, you won't know whether you should have stared or looked away. This is not an explosions-and-karate novel. Compton paints a complete picture, but very slowly, with a stroke here and a brush there, keeping things quietly simmering but always interesting.
THE 37TH HOUR is supposed to be the first of a series of Pribek novels, and it is a tribute to Compton's success and talent that readers of her book will sit on tenterhooks as they await what comes next. Meanwhile, THE 37TH HOUR will be read and reread, and will haunt the consciousness of its readers.
--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
The character was believable, her anguish and fears were palpable. Her hunt for the missing husband was a jouney into another person's life that left her wondering if this was really a place she wanted to go.
The ending blew me away. I usually try to pick out the perp, solve the crime, decide the jury outcome, whatever the destination of the novels I read. And I do pretty well. But this one blindsided me. Even with the clues right out front, I still missed the ending.
In my book, that makes a great author. If you stump me, I will read you again.
I hope this author does write more novels. I'd like to see more of Sarah, and how she evolves after this incident, but I'm not sure that path is open.
Good luck to Jodi Compton, and to anyone who picks this book up, be sure you have nothing planned for the next few hours. This is one that will keep you up past your bedtime.
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