This is a wonderful book for several reasons. First, the entire book takes place in an area that's no more than a half-hour drive from where I live. It's fun to read stories like this, because the immersion factor is so strong. I know where Ferndale is, and even recognized some of the streets and most of the intersections. I know where Sterling Heights is, and have friends that live there. I've been to the Detroit Zoo, Comerica Park, and I've driven Woodward Avenue, a lot. And that overpass he talks about, I've seen the panhandlers there, too. The fact that I didn't have to imagine the locations made the book so much more enjoyable for me to read.. Drake kept saying, "Hey, we've been there!" That was fun.
Secondly, this is a fantastic police procedural. It's so well crafted, that I got the sensation that the author actually hung out with the police, eavesdropped on conversations between detectives, and took copious notes. Certainly, he did his homework. It all made sense, logical sense, in a way that so many crime novels make stuff up, this author wrote with an authenticity that reflected brightly page after page.
Third, I loved the personal side of the main character, Martin Preuss. I was so much more invested in the character because the author let us into his personal life, and allowed us to experience his struggles, rather than glossing over those details as "inconsequential" to the storyline. I felt that the story was moved forward more effectively because of those personal details. Once you understand his devotion to his son, you understand his devotion to his job.
Finally, although I don't think I would call this a "riveting" or an overly "suspenseful" novel, I did find it very compelling. I was drawn to turn the pages not because I was sitting on the edge of my seat and I wanted the payoff of a surprise twist... but I was completely engrossed in the characters, their many layers, and I sincerely wanted to know what happened next. This was a compelling human drama, that just so happens to take place during a police investigation; and for me, that's what makes it such a great read!
Highly Recommended! Five Stars!
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