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by Peter Abrahams
HarperTorch, March 2006
384 pages
ISBN: 0060832835

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Peter Abrahams returns with another character-driven novel, which, while it is not quite as good as THEIR WILDEST DREAMS, introduces some interesting elements with the introduction of its main character. Nick Petrov is a private investigator working out of California who has a reputation for getting results due to his diligent work and, some might say, luck.

He was instrumental in getting a killer jailed after his testimony put him away. It was such a celebrated case that it was even made into a movie. Now his latest case will change exactly who he is and he is bound to find some surprises coming his way.

Liza Rummel, who works as an escort, hires Nick to find her teenage daughter who disappeared in what her mother believes to be unusual circumstances. Nick thinks differently but decides to do it anyway.

Nick doesn't have much of a personality within the novel. He is strait-laced and formal when it comes to looking for clues and somehow it always appears that he has what he needs to solve the case. DRAGNET's Joe Friday had more personality that this guy.

If this book was made into music it would sort of be like pum-pum-PUM!, pum-pum-PUM! He gets one clue, then another, and POW! he gets what he needs to go to the next step. This sequence happens again and again throughout the book. Just as things are about to get interesting he goes into seizure due to a tumor in his head and he just happens to forget what he was working on after being out of it for more that two weeks.

Readers are already privy to the clues from the start of the book, but Nick just has bits and pieces of clues that at first meant something for him, and he knows that it did at some point, but he can't figure out much about it. Curiously his personality continues to be more or less the same even though he is a new man.

The book then flows on onto the case with some surprises near the end, but yet I found the book to be a frustrating read. It was not easy to follow at all while trying to reconstruct the pieces. I think Abrahams loyalists will appreciate this book more than newcomers. I've enjoyed some of his previous books, but not this one. This is just my take on the book, not the author. He still has a lot yet to offer.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, June 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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