Category Archives: Crime

Claire DeWitt And The City Of The Dead By Sara Gran

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Claire DeWitt And The City Of The Dead Sara GranClaire DeWitt And The City Of The Dead
Author: Sara Gran

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Pages: 273
ISBN: 0547428499

Sara Gran has written a novel about an unprecedented private investigator named Claire DeWitt. Destiny, it seems, has chosen Claire to be a detective, planting a copy of the enigmatic bookDétection in her path as a teenager. Claire has grabbed this destiny with both hands but fate has been cruel. Twenty years later detection is her religion and Détection is her Bible.

Now she is summoned to New Orleans, because someone has heard she is “the best,” to search for an upstanding citizen lost in the miasma of Katrina. The battered and beggared New Orleans, second only to Claire, is the star of this story. Thus the title.

The style is slick, gripping, and mystical, as strange and as easy as the character of Claire DeWitt. You may be repelled by her earthiness or mesmerized by her off-the-wall devotion to her calling.

Though planned as the beginning of a series, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead is itself a complete novel.

Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant deductive skills and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection — the only book published by the late, great, and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette. The tattooed, pot-smoking Claire has just arrived in post-Katrina New Orleans, the city she’s avoided since her mentor, Silette’s student Constance Darling, was murdered there. Claire is investigating the disappearance of Vic Willing, a prosecutor known for winning convictions in a homicide- plagued city. Has an angry criminal enacted revenge on Vic? Or did he use the storm as a means to disappear? Claire follows the clues, finding old friends and making new enemies — foremost among them Andray Fairview, a young gang member who just might hold the key to the mystery.

Littered with memories of Claire’s years as a girl detective in 1980s Brooklyn, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead is a knockout start to a bracingly original new series.

I had a pretty strong reaction towards this book. I didn’t like how New Orleans was portrayed (I know there is crime there but this book make it sound like it was the bowels of hell). I didn’t like Claire (really, smoking with kids and buying guns off them?). And I didn’t like Claire’s opinions (Caucasians would never choose to live in New Orleans because of how bad it is).

I didn’t like the book, I didn’t like the characters and I didn’t like the plot. I wanted to. But I couldn’t.

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane

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The Girl Who Disappeared Twice Andrea KaneThe Girl Who Disappeared Twice
Author: Andrea Kane
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Pages: 400
ISBN: 0778329844

If she’d only turned her head, she would have seen the car containing her daughter, struggling to get out. Struggling to escape her kidnapper.

Despite all her years determining the fates of families, veteran family court judge Hope Willis couldn’t save her own. Now she’s frantically grasping at any hope for Krissy’s rescue. Her husband dead–set against it, she calls Casey Woods and her team of renegade investigators,Forensic Instincts.

A behaviorist.A techno–wizard.An intuitive.A former Navy SEAL. Unconventional operatives.All with unique talents and personal reasons for being part of Casey’s group, they’ll do whatever it takes.

Able to accurately read people after the briefest of encounters, Casey leads her crew to Krissy’s home. There, she picks up the signs of a nervous spouse, a guilty conscience, a nanny that hides on her cell. She watches as secrets beg to creep into the open.

Forensic Instincts will dig through each tiny clue and eliminate the clutter. But time is running out, and even working around the clock, the authorities are bound by the legal system. Not so Casey’s team. For they know that the difference between Krissy coming back alive and disappearing forever could be as small as a suspect’s rapid breathing, or as deep as Hope’s dark family history. – GoodRead

Let me start off by saying if you like the new show “Criminal Mind: Suspect Behaviour”, you will like this book. Very early on, we find out who the suspect is – which was a bit of a let down for me. Fortunately, the rest of book deals with the why. Why would someone kidnap a young girl.

The story flows nicely, the writing is well done. I must say, personally I was a bit disillusioned that I was able to figure it out so quickly. While the rest of the story was still exciting and fast paced, it didn’t have 100% of my attention. The team of rogue current and ex law enforcement that is hired to find her moves too smoothly. It works a bit too well with local law enforcement – whom everyone knows don’t like their toes stepped on. It would have read better had it been a bit more realistic.

It was a good book, just not a keeper for me.