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Glass Houses by Jane Haddam

Glass Houses (2007)

by Jane Haddam

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"Plate Glass serial killer" --well written as always in that series ( )
  198therese | Feb 19, 2015 |
In this Gregor Demarkian mystey, Haddam presents a mystery from multiple points of view. This mystery is never dull and Haddam includes multiple well developed characters. Gregor is hired by the police as a consultant to help them solve a series of serials murders. Gregor uncovers a lot including the fact that the detectives in charge of the case hate each other, don’t work together at all, and both have spent less effort on solving the case than on trying to confuse the evidence and prevent the other from solving the case. Are the murders the work of a serial killer or something else. Gregor untangles the mess. Simultaneously, his life is a mess—Bennis turns up after a year and Gregor needs to work through his relationship and feelings for her. ( )
  EssFair | May 31, 2008 |
No. 22 in the Gregor Demarkian series.

Haddam, who varies her plots by exploring new themes, for the first time takes on that of the serial killer. Given that it took her 22 books to get there, it’s surprising, since that was Demarkian’s specialty in the FBI. Nevertheless—she made it with this latest.

Her last book being such a disappointment, I was more or less steeled for a repeat performance in this book. But it does appear that if Haddam stays off of her main agenda—politics—she does a very good to excellent job of using her themes to expand and texture her plots, which are very formulaic.

Clearly Haddam has researched serial killers. As the plot unfolds, through a very clever major twist and several minor ones, we learn a great deal about serial killers that adds greatly to the interest in the story.

She also has several subplots, as usual. Gay men have appeared repeatedly in her books; she treats them sensitively but realistically. It does look like Chickie George, a gay man who first appeared in True Believers, is to be a repeat minor character; he played a major role in Hardscrabble Road and appears again in Glass Houses in a more supporting one.

However, Haddam in this book goes beyond just sympathetic (in general) portrayals; she looks at the different attitudes towards homosexuality and, quite frankly, gives one of the best arguments supporting the Catholic church’s stand that it is “objectively disordered” that I have read, including anything put out by the Church itself. However, she does also show the other side. She does this through several very sympathetically-drawn characters, basically taking no sides formally. Given her other books, though, it’s pretty clear what she feels personally. Still, this is particularly well done, given the genre.

She also takes on the subject of pedophilia, and while the character is too one-dimensional, considering again that the book is a mystery novel, NOT a work solely devoted to exploring the subject, she does a very good job. But again, the character is too one-dimensional and meets too stereotypical an end to be really believable. It is to Haddam’s credit, however, that she continues to pursue these social topics.

As fans of the series know, in the last few books, Haddam introduced a major crisis between Demarkian and Bennis Hannaford. In this one, she resolves the crisis, but getting there is a real strain on credulity.

Still, Glass Houses returns to a better standard of writing. The resolution of the mystery is well done with a nice twist. More than most writers in the genre, Haddam incorporates various, sometimes disparate topics into her plots and for the most part, carries them off very well within the confines of the genre and book length. She continues to do so in Glass Houses. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote Joycepa | Apr 19, 2008 |
Former FBI profiler Gregor Demarkian returns in the twenty-first installment of this popular series, which still feels fresh and exciting after all these years. This time Demarkian is hired to help prove the innocence of a man who has confessed to being Philadelphia's infamous Plate Glass Killer. Haddam asks some big questions--What kind of person becomes a serial killer? What kind of person claims to be one when he isn't?--and she turns finding the answers into a journey that is both exciting and thoughtful, thanks largely to the insight and charisma of her hero. ( )
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  jlcampbell05 | Oct 27, 2007 |
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Sometimes Henry Tyder thought that the real problem would always be the blood.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312947488, Mass Market Paperback)

Philadelphia has been plagued by a serial killer dubbed the Plate Glass Killer by the media…until the police finally catch a break: Henry Tyder, the scion of a prominent Main Line family, is found literally with blood on his hands at the scene of the most recent murder. After more than a year of anguish, the city can now rest assured.

But even though Tyder has made a confession, his own attorney has doubts. How could the alcoholic, frequently homeless Tyder have committed this crime—as well as the others? Enter Gregor Demarkian, retired head of the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit, who’s been asked to look into the case.

Gregor’s evaluation of Tyder turns up a grim truth: The police have got the wrong guy. But why would Tyder lie? Who is he trying to protect? If wrestling with this case weren’t enough, Gregor is still trying to make sense of the mysterious reappearance of his estranged girlfriend…and keep them all out of harm’s way while the real Plate Glass Killer remains at-large.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:13 -0400)

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When Henry Tyder, an alcoholic, sometimes homeless member of a socially prominent Philadelphia family, is arrested at the scene of a murder, his attorney asks Gregor Demarkian to look into the case.

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