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Striking Out by Alison Gordon

Striking Out (1995)

by Alison Gordon

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371436,819 (3.94)1
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Well done, and the best so far.
This is the fourth in the Kate Henry series and is the best so far. Kate is bored -- there is a strike in the major leagues and she doesn't know what to do with herself. So she focuses on her home life. Then Andy Munro gets shot in the line of duty, and Kate is pretty much on her own while Andy recuperates. Lots of tension as Andy deals with the aftermath of being shot.
The focus of the story is on a homeless woman named Maggie who has disappeared, and one of her favorite resting places is covered in blood. On top of that, a mutilated corpse turns up with a very large knife that Maggie used to own. A corpse of someone who knew who Maggie really was, knew her past, and was therefore a threat to Maggie's security. Some really seedy characters populate the story, including a two-bit child pornographer who has a heart of gold for helping street people.
Of course there is the requisite protagonist-in-jeopardy part, but at least Andy isn't automatically there to save the day
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I was not personal friends with the author, but I did interact with her online. ( )
  polywogg | Mar 25, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771034156, Mass Market Paperback)

It is the summer of 1994 and the major-league baseball players have taken their balls and bats and gone home. With no beat to cover, sportswriter Kate Henry finds herself with rare time off to relax at home in Toronto’s east end.

But all is not tranquil in the neighbourhood. Anti-abortion protesters are picketing the house of a doctor who lives down the block. The papers are full of controversy over the police shooting of a joy-riding black teen, and Kate’s lover, homicide detective Andy Munro, is shot in an incident which only fuels the outcries of police racism.

While Andy recuperates, Kate has more than a cranky patient to deal with: Maggie, the homeless woman who has been living in the laneway behind Kate’s house, suddenly vanishes. The police are indifferent, and Kate, prodded by the concern of her tenant’s son, T.C., begins a hunt of her own. Her search takes her to corners of her neighbourhood she’s never had reason to explore, from a women’s drop-in centre to a seedy adult-video shop, and she gradually learns about Maggie’s unlikely and disturbing past. A brutal murder links that past to the present and ultimately engages Kate in a daring, potentially dangerous, investigation.

Alison Gordon’s clever plotting, fast-paced dialogue, and deft characterization spark with energy. The background setting of Toronto’s Riverdale district – the trendy aspects as well as the darker side – teems with life.

Striking Out places Alison Gordon in the front ranks of Canadian crime fiction writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:27 -0400)

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