Through the Cracks
Review: Former Chicago police detective, now private investigator Anni Koskinen is hired by a woman who claims she wrongly identified the man who raped her 23 years ago, a man recently released from prison when his conviction was overturned, in Through the Cracks, the second mystery in this series by Barbara Fister.
Chase Taylor was 16 at the time of his arrest. A black kid accused of raping a white woman, who positively identified him, the trial was swift, the outcome certain. But now Jill McKenzie isn't so sure. She was beaten badly during the attack, and she says the police pressured her into making a positive ID. Though reluctant to take on the case, Anni agrees to look into it … and quickly discovers a number of rapes that followed a suspiciously similar pattern, all of which took place while Taylor was in prison. Curious why the police didn't make the same connection, she enlists the aid of the detective who originally investigated McKenzie's case, now retired. Together, they come up with a theory as to who the rapist may be, only to be thwarted by political stonewalling by a number of people who simply want the case to be buried and forgotten.
Through the Cracks starts a little slowly, and introduces several unrelated situations and incidents that may have been intended as red herrings by the author but ultimately seem to be included to round out the story a bit. They're really unnecessary, as the primary plot is strong enough to stand on its own, with a depth and complexity that is really quite remarkable, given relatively few solidly developed characters and a deceptively simple storyline. Never predictable, but also not relying on surprise out-of-the-blue twists, Through the Cracks is an exceptionally well-crafted mystery, one that should not be missed.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Through the Cracks for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Through the Cracks: Chicago, Illinois
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Through the Cracks by Barbara Fister — An Anni Koskinen Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 2010
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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