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Hook: A Meg Gillis Crime Novel
by C J Songer
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684850435, Hardcover)Penzler Pick, May 2000: C.J. Songer has real-life experience as a California cop, a fact that goes a long way toward burnishing the hard sheen of tough reality one finds in her Meg Gillis novels. Bait was the first, and its follow-up, Hook, grabs again (excuse the pun) from the first sentence, with the savvy immediacy of Meg's narrative voice: "'So her husband slapped her around some?' I asked. 'This guy, what's-his-name, De la Pena?'" Meg's running a private security firm with a partner, Mike Johnson, and since both of them are ex-police force types, they know the drill. If Mike has become personally involved with a client who has a violent husband, it's no time to play Archie Goodwin, handling it on his own like some fictional knight errant.
Her partner is stubborn, so Meg winds up confused, especially because when she agrees to confront the seemingly guilty spouse and serve him the divorce papers, she finds a disturbingly attractive guy whose denials she finds convincing. The real problems begin, however, when he turns up dead and Meg becomes a suspect. It doesn't matter that there's a very nasty, very blond bad guy stalking her, or that Mrs. De la Pena is undoubtedly a serial liar; before it's all over, Meg is shot at, shadowed, slashed, and finally grateful for the protection of her overprotective admirer/nemesis, Reilly of the Beverly Hills Police Department, who insists on looking after her 24 hours a day.
In the best trouble-a-minute, smart-alecky style, Songer whisks Meg through hot spots and chilling moments alike with equal skill. What feels different here about a familiar formula is that Meg, Mike, Reilly, and even the villains and lesser characters don't seem like caricatures. There's an easy, natural rhythm to it all, a style and pace that make for the best kind of mystery fiction. --Otto Penzler
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)
After PI Meg Gillis of Los Angeles serves a man with divorce papers for beating his wife, the man commits suicide. But was it really suicide? The man was an Argentinian and turns out to have been a political activist.
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