Bait Mm Mass Market Paperback – Aug 19 1999
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Trained by Navy SEALS, a graduate of Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and similar venues where, according to the jacket copy on her first novel, "street survival skills are measured, " C.J. Songer is an ex-cop who could give Dirty Harry a run for his money. In Bait, her first novel, Meg Gillis's partner is missing, and Meg suspects the worst--even before her house is ransacked, her stolen car is found soaked in blood, and she's caught up in a deadly game of murder and deception where the cops make all the rules. They seem to think she's holding out on them--especially Joe Reilly of the Special Tactics Unit, who might have known Meg's husband Charlie before he was killed. Or maybe not. Charlie was a cop, too, and the details of his death have never been cleared up. Even paranoids have real enemies, and Meg's inside knowledge of dirty deals by dirty cops makes her inability to trust anyone perfectly plausible. While she's willing to put herself out there as bait to trap her partner's kidnapper, she's never quite sure who's holding the keys to the cage. It makes for a taut thriller, and the sexual tension between Meg and Reilly holds up all the way to the explosive finish. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
First-time novelist Songer, a former Glendale, Calif., law officer, develops her convoluted, often enticing tale in a series of interwoven plots told in repetitive phrases and partial sentences, an elliptical style slightly reminiscent of James Ellroy's. The narrator, ex-cop Meg Gillis, gradually unravels the story, repeatedly speculating and recapitulating, revealing a little more of the background and the key events each time. When Meg takes a phone call for Mike Johnson, another ex-policeman and her partner in a security business, she's immediately caught up in several simultaneous police investigations involving possible corruption in the Beverly Hills Special Tactics Unit, harassment of Iranians living in Southern California, drug traffickers, her missing partner Mike's dealings and the still unsolved shooting of her own husband, also a cop, three years earlier. Meg spends a lot of time traveling from her office to her home or the Burbank police station. Although many of the scenes are physically static, the dialogue creates emotional electricity among the characters; the occasional action scenes are fast-paced and visceral. Songer has a gripping story to tell, but the choppy, circular style she has chosen can be aggravating. It all makes sense in the end, but getting there is often as annoyingly bumpy as it is compelling.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Ms. Songer's character is very annoying. The author considers herself to be the next Virginia Woolf by having us learn everything through Meg's stream of consciousness. The reader is expected to catch up and the heck with everything else. One of the most perplexing scenes involve her mentioning a character named Josh. It is not until sixty pages later in the book that we learn that Josh is her stepson. Is it so hard to say 'my stepson, Josh' when first introducing him.
The title of the book is misleading. It is not until three-quarters of the book that any reference is made in using Meg Gillis as a lure. The Bait here is getting people to purchase her book.
What intrigued me by this book, as I got further and further into it was that my impression of Meg Gillis was being built up by her words and actions, not by an author-provided description of her looks or her setting. It seemed to me that Ms. Songer really managed to describe the mindset of an ex-cop, one who views the world from the feminine perspective rather than the masculine, but who is forced deal with the masculine preconceptions of the cop's world.
The writing style in this book is spare and to the point. You have to pay attention to the nuances of the characters. This serves to create tension nicely and forces you to try to puzzle out what is exactly going on, and who, if anyone, Meg can trust. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story, and the pace is maintained throughout the book. This was a good debut novel about an interesting character, and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
Unfortunately, Mike is a no-show that day, so Meg answers the summons. From that moment on, her life spins out of control. Having police back-up, Meg arrives at Mr. Haroutunien's home, only to have him deny ever speaking to her. The police take Meg in for questioning and while at headquarters her car is stolen. When the vehicle is retrieved, it is covered with blood as if someone was killed inside it.
Mike remains missing and everyone is searching for him. The police begin to harass Meg, who now wonders if her business partner was on the trail of some crooked officers. Not trusting anyone, but knowing she needs help, Meg turns to her biggest tormentor, Sergeant Joe Reilly of the Special Tactics Unit. She prays that the two of them can find the answers to what is going down before either one of them is killed.
Remember the name C.J. Sanger because this talented writer has a great career ahead of her if this adrenaline-pumping, police procedural is any indication. Although BAIT has a fast-paced, action-filled story line, it is Meg who makes this a special novel.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
C. J. Songer's crisp style of writing nicely fits her story and her characters. And what great characters she has created. Reilly and Meg are flawed but so darn likeable. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2002 by S. Gould
I bought Bait and Hook based on reader reviews and am glad I bought both at the same time because I didn't have to race out and buy the second. Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2002
This is the first book I read of hers. I began this book and couldn't put it down. C.J. Songer's characters draw you in and keep you facinated. Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2002
I think this could have been a very good book, except the main character made too many leaps of thought that for me were impossible to follow. Read morePublished on May 24 2001
Wow! I'm so glad I found this book (and author). For mystery lovers, it doesn't get any better than this! It sounds cliche, but I REALLY couldn't put this book down. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2000 by Jennifer Reed
C.J. Songer has gone and done it. She's written an incredible first novel with a writing style that's staccato-quick and will keep your heart pounding with every page. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2000
Bait is an extraordinary first novel... Actually, it is an extraordinary novel. I was hooked from the first page and was unable to put the book down. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2000 by Kindle Customer
CJ Songer's Bait is an excellent book. Finally a female protagonist that is intelligent, unpredictable, and very courageous. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 1999
Goodby Melhone hello Meg...Great read. Great fun. Ran across this book by accident and I am sure glad I did. Took a bit to get used to Songers style but WOW.... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 1999