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Detective Sonora Blair Rises To The Challenge,
This review is from: Eyeshot (A Sonora Blair investigation) (Paperback)
`Eyeshot' is the second book, in a series of four, featuring Sonora Blair, a female homicide detective.
With the first book in the series having been written in 1995, Sonora Blair may have been a character before her time, as she must surely have been one of the earliest female detectives to hit the crime/thriller pages?
Sonora Blair, features in a series of just four books, but I am sure that long before then, her private life and career, will be in complete meltdown, if she carries on as she is now! Which, in reality, is probably a fairly accurate analogy of the disastrous work/life balance endured by many members of the force, the world over.
There seem to be the two stereotyped images of female detectives in fiction, either those who are trying desperately to juggle a work/home balance and failing miserably, or those who are determinedly single and married to their job, with Sonora falling into the first category.
She is the single mother of two children; a teenage son over whom she has little or no control; a younger daughter who spends much of this case being trailed around various locations by Sonora, who is unable to find care for her; and an ever increasingly complicated and uncontrollable love-life.
This is not a book for those of you who enjoy a fast moving plot, full of blood and guts, with multiple bodies thrown in for good measure.
For the first few chapters, there are a couple of suspects in the case, but as the story progressess and the plot thickens, it quickly becomes clear who the murderer is, the story then develops around the pursuit and capture of that person.
The suspect is a smooth operator, who uses their position and influence to full effect, in order to channel suspicion away from them, whilst calculating the end game scenario, which they all know is inevitable. As with all characters of such a devious, egotistical nature, there is always someone waiting in the wings, who has been humiliated and taken for granted once too often and is willing to do the right thing, when presented with a suitable opportunity.
Whilst there was some lack of descriptive substance in the police procedural aspects of the case and the plot and outcome was somewhat predictable, the narrative was, on the whole, well crafted. The characters had plenty of depth to them, whilst the local search areas were well described and set the scene well.
The character of Sonora is still being developed into this second book, although I felt that a little too much emphasis is placed on her private and family life, to the detriment of what is otherwise a promising detective's career.
She is a tenacious investigator, but one who doesn't always play things strictly by the book, meaning that her plans often backfire and therefore take a little longer to achieve. She is, however, learning that she needs to make a stand against power, prejudice and corruption from within and that intelligence and wit are her greatest weapons, to help her realise her place within the team and acceptance by her male colleagues.
All in all, this is a well thought out plot, with a well defined sequence of events, leading to the final and inevitable `end game'.