Deception Pass Mass Market Paperback – May 27 1998
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From Library Journal
Private eye Thomas Black returns for his tenth adventure in the Shamus Award- winning Emerson's best-selling mystery series (e.g., The Million Dollar Tattoo,
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
What dire secret could make Lainie Smith, Seattle's well- heeled answer to Mother Teresa, vulnerable to blackmail? Whatever it is, it's something she's been paying $2,000 a week to keep quiet--and something she doesn't want to share with her lawyer, Kathy Birchfield, or Kathy's husband, private eye Thomas Black (The Million-Dollar Tattoo, 1996, etc.). Thomas doesn't insist on knowing Lainie's secret, but as he gets deeper into the case- -trailing the two men who pick up the latest two grand, searching the lair he's tracked one of them to, dispensing his trademark similes (one craven suspect has ``an alibi prepared like a frozen dinner in the freezer'')--he can hardly help finding out what it is. And it's dynamite, something it's no wonder Lainie didn't want him to know: Seventeen years ago she was present with recently executed Charlie Groth when four friends vacationing in a cabin on Whidbey Island were massacred. Was Lainie, as she quaveringly maintains, only a drugged-out witness to her boyfriend's madness? How deep does her complicity go? And how did her blackmailers get the goods on her? Most of the people who could answer these questions are dead--and now more, it seems, are following them. The nightmare that haunts Lainie's past is so horrific that Thomas's fans will surely overlook the slapdash details of its exhumation (suspects suddenly tripping over each other in their haste to clear themselves) in his grimmest outing in years. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
In early Thomas Black books, Thomas and Kathy's friendship provides both context and subplot. Then in the third book, "Yellow Dog Party," the relationship shifts and leads into "The Portland Laugher," where it takes center stage. "Laugher" is Emerson's darkest, most complex book, sending the reader on an emotional roller coaster that ends satisfyingly in the following book, "The Vanishing Smile."
Two books later, though, you might wonder what else there is to say. In "Deception Pass," Thomas and Kathy are happily married. Neither has an incurable disease, has been kidnapped or is cheating on the other. So now what? Must we just to do without the funny verbal sparring, the sexual tension, that has characterized the other books?
Happily, the answer is no. In "Deception Pass," Thomas and Kathy have settled into the kind of easy relationship they had in the first books, except that Kathy lives upstairs with Thomas instead of downstairs in the basement apartment, and they fool around occasionally.
One October morning, Kathy brings Thomas a new client. The client is Lainie Smith, Seattle's "Mother Theresa with a bankroll," as Thomas puts it.Read more ›
Seattle private investigator Thomas Black to find out who is blackmailing
her and how he or she obtained information that should not be known by
anyone. Lainie refuses to provide specific information on what she is
actually being blackmailed for, but does tell Thomas that she has paid
$2,000 a week for the past three weeks. She is not worried about the
money, but how far the blackmailer will go and especially what will happen
if "the cat got out of the bag". Thomas' wife, attorney Kathy, accepts
the job for him even though he admits he has little experience with
Apparently, seventeen years ago, a drug crazed Lainie was involved in a
mass murder at DECEPTION PASS in which her man was tried, convicted, and
executed for the crimes, while she disappeared into the night. Meanwhile,
Thomas uncovers several potential perps, but the obvious individual, the
money collector, is found dead. As more information surfaces, Kathy and
Thomas realize that their client faces a potential murder charge that will
probably convict her if the law finds out about her involvement.
DECEPTION PASS is a refreshing spin on the guilty client twist. The
story line rapidly moves forward and the support cast (especially Kathy and
Lainie) is very interesting as they provide a genuine feel to the tale.
Thomas is quite good when he glibly explains sleuthing techniques, but at
times his constant witticisms (at a faster rate than Henny Youngman in his
prime) overwhelms segments of the novel. Still, Earl Emerson's tenth
Thomas Black story is quite a powerful book that fans of cleverly written
mysteries will immensely enjoy.
Most recent customer reviews
Emerson's only moderately competent private eye sails through a tale that presents moral dilemmas as well as insights into relationships without being pretentious, some wildly... Read morePublished on July 5 2000 by John Cragg
This was the first (but not the last) Earl W. Emerson book I've read. I found it very enjoyable, and could not put it down until I was done. Read morePublished on April 30 2000 by Amazon Customer