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by Laura Belgrave
Silver Dagger Press, April 2003
218 pages
ISBN: 1570722471

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Detective Claudia Hershey is a cop in a small central Florida town. Like the rest of the sunshine state, Indian Run is experiencing growing pangs. On a Friday afternoon just before her vacation is due to start Claudia answers a call from one of the first gated communities in the area. Willow Whisper had been foisted on the community a little over two years ago. Claudia could not fathom what attracted people to gated communities, where they had zero lot lines and all the houses looked alike.

Claudia walks into a bizarre hostage situation that goes from bad to worse. The hostage taker is killed and not by the police. Led by the weasel of a mayor, the community wants to sweep the event under the rug and go about their business. Claudia is not so sure about that. She believes the dead man was basically a good person and he has left behind a daughter the same age as Claudia's own daughter. As a single parent herself, her heart goes out to the child.

When Claudia goes back into the house with the daughter, who is packing up her things, the girl tells Claudia that her father's office is not the way he always left it. While Claudia realizes the police were in the house, she believes that there were some things in the room that were disturbed by others. Added to her suspicions of the members of the Homeowners Association - her fellow hostages - she convinces her chief to go against the express wishes of the mayor and continue the investigation.

Detective Hershey is a strong character, she is level headed, a career cop, who has moved from Ohio to the small Florida town in order to give her daughter a better life. Claudia is a no nonsense police officer who knows her job and does it well. Deadly Associations is a good police procedural for fans of the genre, and even for those who are not necessarily a fan of police novels. Claudia is an appealing protagonist. This is part of a series that the author, herself a former Ohio native who has moved to Florida, has written. Claudia is someone you will want to know more about and I'm happy that there are more tales of Indian Run.

Reviewed by Lorraine Gelly, April 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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