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Gone Quiet by Eleanor Taylor Bland
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Gone Quiet (1994)

by Eleanor Taylor Bland

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The characters in this series are so strongly drawn that this is almost a cross between a police procedural and a cozy. One of the chief attractions of novels to me is good character development of people that I would like to know (well, mostly people that I would like to know). Bland does an excellent job of handling a fairly large cast of continuing characters, while making them distinct from one another. The characters have personal as well as professional lives, and this adds to the depth of the book and the intricacy of the plots. I am pleased to say that although they have their share of frustrations and struggles, the police are not all angst-ridden and alienated.

The stories also perform the tough trick of dealing with the gritty side of life, and the reality that not everyone can be saved, without becoming despondent. The main characters never stop fighting the good fight, which I find rather inspiring.

Marti MacAlister is a homicide detective in the fictional Chicago suburb of Lincoln Prairie (based on Waukegan, IL). When the series begins, Marti has been widowed for about 16 months and she and her two children are still trying to come to grips with the loss of husband and father. She previously worked in Chicago but left after the death of her husband Johnny, an uncover narcotics agent.

Her partner is Matthew "Vik" Jessenovik, who grew up in Lincoln Prairie, knows just about everyone, and mourns the changes as the town has grown. Vik is rather skeptical of the appropriateness of a woman being a homicide detective and is also leery of Marti's big-city background. He has a wife, children and grandchildren. ( )
  juglicerr | Jul 12, 2007 |
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