Review: Redemption is the second thriller by Laurel Dewey to feature hard drinking, chain smoking, rough talking former Denver police officer, now private investigator, Jane Perry.
Jane has quit the force and is trying to sober up by attending AA meetings. Catching a smoke outside one evening, she comes upon Katherine "Kit" Clark. Kit, a throw-back from the 70s, knows who Jane is, having watched her on Larry King during her investigation of a mass murder a year earlier. Kit, dying of cancer, offers Jane $5 million to find, and prove, that a man recently released from prison on a technicality, Lou Peters, kidnapped, raped, and killed her 14-year-old granddaughter over a decade ago.
It's hard for Jane to be objective here. Her own grandfather was a cruel man, forcing his sons, one of whom was Jane's father, to fight each other until one fell from exhaustion or pain. Jane's father subsequently beat her and her brother. Her self-abuse today, whether from alcohol or tobacco, is a consequence of her own internalized pain. Kit wants Jane to help her break a cycle of abuse, and possibly help herself in the process.
In many ways it's hard to like Jane. Harder still when the language she uses is so vulgar, and really so unnecessary. She's a smart, complex woman but seems to come off as 1-dimensional, or as common as the thugs she used to put away as a cop. The story, which in and of itself is quite intriguing, at times spellbinding, could have been just as suspenseful, just as compelling without Jane cursing at every opportunity. Here is a situation where the author's misguided attempt at authenticity backfires badly, where her characters could, and should, be defined by, and remembered for, their actions and deeds, not by the foul language they use.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Redemption.
Acknowledgment: The Story Plant provided a copy of Redemption for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
ATN Group Publishing (Hardcover), February 2007
ISBN-13: 9781884820854; ISBN-10: 1884820859
Location(s) referenced in Redemption: Denver, Colorado
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Redemption by Laurel Dewey — A Jane Perry Mystery
Publisher: Story Plant
Publication Date: June 2009
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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