Original Books

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Deadfall by Patricia Rushford and Harrison James

Detective Mac McAllister is back working on a new case with the homicide department of the Oregon State Police. A ski instructor has disappeared, and his parents refuse to believe in the option of suicide. They believe his girlfriend had something to do with his disappearance, but Mac won't say anything until he delves deeper into the case.

Mac has also been having trouble with his fiancee. She wants him to come to pre-marital counseling sessions at her church, but Mac doesn't have any use for church or religion. An even bigger strain is put on their relationship when Mac begins to have feelings for a woman he works with.

The rest of the plot progresses like any other mystery plot would-investigate a little, find a clue here and there, interview people-but nothing very special or ground-breaking. That's the biggest problem with this book. There's nothing that makes it stand out from any other mystery books on the market. It's very run-of-the-mill.

Another problem with this book is the lack of good characters. While Mac is an imperfect lead, there are several other typical plot devices, such as the old Christian mentor he works with.

Some parts of the investigation are realistic, but they are mostly boring. However, I am glad the authors avoided forcing this plot to be suspense. I don't know if I could have taken any of that.

The authors avoid a typical showdown with the criminal at the end, but this leaves several plot holes. For one thing, key things happen at the final scene, but nothing is ever said about them. This only leaves the reader scratching his head, wondering whatever happened to them.

While there is one unresolved issue at the end of the book, a majority of the issues are fixed at the end, making for an unrealistic plot. Basically, I just didn't see anything that made this book special. Maybe the authors will do better in the next book.

2.5 stars

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