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Close Case (Samantha Kincaid Mysteries)by Alafair Burke
Friday, June 07, 2013 07:30 PM
Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Portland, OR
In Alafair Burke's suspenseful new novel, If You Were Here (Harper), journalist McKenna Jordan is chasing the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks. What would have been a short-lived metro story sends McKenna on a dangerous search.
Close Case is a breezy, entertaining read with a distinctive and appealing star
Synopses & Reviews
Investigating the brutal murder of a hotshot journalist, Samantha Kincaid finds herself caught in the middle of an increasingly personal — and potentially dangerous — struggle between Portland's police and the DA's office.
For Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid's thirty-second birthday, she gets an unusual gift: a homicide call out. The crime scene: the elite Hillside neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. The victim: hotshot investigative reporter Percy Crenshaw, who has been bludgeoned to death in his carport.
Tensions in the city have been running high. The previous week, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed mother of two in what he claims was self-defense; in the aftermath, protestors have waged increasingly agitated anti-police protests. Crenshaw's death, it seems, is not unrelated: within a matter of hours, police arrest two young men who appear to have embarked on a crime spree in the aftermath of the protests. The case looks straightforward, especially when one of the suspects confesses. But then the man recants, claiming coercive police tactics, and Samantha finds herself digging for more evidence. Following Crenshaw's steps, her search leads her through an elaborate maze of connections between the city's drug trade and officers in the bureau's north precinct.
Samantha's pursuit of the truth puts her in the middle of city political battles and on the outs with the cops, including her new live-in boyfriend, Detective Chuck Forbes. Worse yet, the path left by Crenshaw could lead Samantha to the same fatal end.
With Close Case, Alafair Burke delivers her most suspenseful and powerful novel yet.
"In Burke's absorbing third Samantha Kincaid mystery (after 2004's Missing Justice), the 32-year-old deputy DA and her just-moved-in lover, Det. Chuck Forbes, look into the murder of Percy Crenshaw, a popular investigative reporter and liaison to the Portland, Ore., minority community, who's found bludgeoned to death after a protest over a police shooting with racial overtones. Careful scrutiny of video footage unearths a couple of meth-headed hoodlums who were in the right place at the right time for the crime. Chuck's partner elicits a confession, and the case seems wrapped. When the ill-gotten confession is deemed inadmissable, the wavering line between loyalty to Chuck and Samantha's prosecutorial integrity becomes the catalyst for a breakup. Meanwhile, budding journalist Heidi Hatmaker, eager to break into the crime beat, studies Crenshaw's cryptic notes and surmises that the reporter's recent surveillance of questionable police activity may have led to his demise. A former deputy DA herself, Burke confidently lays out the procedural details, but she's less sure at rendering complex personal relationships. Agent, Philip Spitzer. (July 6)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Burke hits her stride in this third outing....After a slow start: big, bustling canvas with plausible moral dilemmas for Samantha and surprises that are still popping on the final pages." Kirkus Reviews
"Burke, daughter of author James Lee Burke and once a Portland prosecutor herself, delivers a politically charged, gritty thriller in this third entry in the Samantha Kincaid series." Booklist
"Burke's first-person narration works beautifully, but alternating it with the occasional third-person narration for the Hatmaker story line feels awkward in this otherwise superb legal thriller. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Close Case is an enjoyable read. The well limned characters, interesting plot, believability of the crime, and the way Burke brings readers right into the investigation add to the tension and suspense." BookReporter.com
The long-awaited final installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling authors Nadia Stafford series
Since Kelley Armstrong wrapped up book two of the Nadia Stafford series, fans have been eager to know what happens to the tough-as-nails contract killer. At last, Wild Justice brings Nadia back for the series thrilling conclusion—an action-packed tale that will dazzle fans of the series as well as those who are only familiar with Armstrongs bestselling paranormal books.
In Wild Justice, Nadia is confronted with her most difficult task to date: going after the man who killed her cousin Amy twenty years prior. But when it turns out that someone else has already taken justice into their own hands, she is drawn into a complex situation where everything she knows and loves is thrown into the path of danger. Nadia is forced to take matters into her own hands, ultimately requiring her to confront her darkest secrets—and her deepest desires—in a way that she never thought possible.
Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid likes to be where the action is: at the scene of a crime, at the arrest of a suspect, with the cops on the Major Crimes Team. But when street smart, plugged-in reporter Percy Crenshaw is brutally murdered in the midst of pursuing a major story, she knows the stakes are high...
Within days, cops have a suspect; then a confession. Yet Samantha suspects that something is very wrong, and her concerns keep coming back to the police. The cop who got the confession used tough tactics. The murdered reporter was romantically linked to a cop's wife. And all of the cops she's concerned about are close to her live-in boyfriend, Detective Chuck Forbes.
Forced to prosecute a case in which the defendant may be an innocent man, Samantha must tread carefully to uncover the truth about Percy's murder — without tearing her career, her home life, and the city apart. But just when she thinks her job can't get any more difficult, another more shocking crime comes to light...
About the Author
A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School. The daughter of acclaimed crime writer James Lee Burke, she is a graduate of Stanford Law School and currently serves as a legal and trial commentator for radio and television programs, including Court TV. She lives in New York City. Close Case is the third book in the Samantha Kincaid series.
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