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on 25 July 2012
My review is actually based on the kindle version but I'm sure it will fit the printed one equally well.
In a sense this novel is a departure for Harrison as it could be described as a police thriller: the protagonist is a recently retired police officer whose retirement has come upon him as he is well into the search for an elusive charismatic but fraudulent leader of a religious cult.He nevertheless refuses to drop the case.
So in part the book is classic cop chasing baddy and as such throws up some noir gems worthy of Elmore Leonard: "When you've been a cop as long as I have even the songbirds are under suspicion"!
The chase, although never frenetic, is engaging and entertaining.
But the recently retired inspector is also trying to come to turns with retirement and we relive episodes of his past life and learn much about him with all his frailties and foibles.
As usual, Harrison writes with wry humour in measured, muscular prose which is always a delight to read. His paragraphs are strewn with the aphorisms and epigrammatic gems typical of his previous books.
The book also explores an unexpected paradox in that our protagonist is himself fighting one of the very temptations to which the Great Leader has criminally succumbed.
As much a novel of late-in-life self discovery as a detective thriller and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all Harrison fans and would suggest it as a good starting point if you have yet to discover the delights of this fine writer.
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on 10 November 2014
Biased again. Not his best–in my humble opinion–but if you like Jim Harrison you'll still enjoy it.
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