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Past Tense by [Kinberg, Margot]
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Past Tense Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 428 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4625 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0997889217
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Grey Cells Press (1 Nov. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #662,642 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Dec. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
When the foundations are being dug for a new performing arts building at Tilton Univerity in Pennsylvania, the building crew are shocked when they discover a skeleton buried there. Forensic tests show that it belonged to a young man and dates from around forty years earlier. Back in the early '70s, Bryan Roades was a student at the University. Inspired by the great Woodward and Bernstein investigation into the Watergate affair, Bryan hoped to emulate them by becoming a campaigning journalist. He was preparing a story on women's issues for the University newspaper, focusing on the Women's Lib movement and how some of the debates of the time were impacting on the female students. Some of the people he approached, though, didn't want to see their stories in print, but Bryan was more interested in the greater good (and his own advancement, perhaps) than in individuals' rights to privacy. When he disappeared, the police could find no trace and most people thought he'd simply done that fashionable thing for the time – gone off to 'find himself'...

This is Margot Kinberg's third Joel Williams book, but the first I've read. Margot and I are long-time buddies via our blogs, so you will have to assume that there may be a level of bias in this review, but as always I shall try to be as honest as I can.

Joel Williams is an ex-police detective now working as a Professor in Criminal Justice in the fictional university town of Tilton, PA. He still has lots of contacts with his old colleagues in the police department and can't resist using his inside knowledge of the University when a corpse turns up on campus.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic whodunit cold case mystery...something for everyone 6 Nov. 2016
By BSquaredInOz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Margot Kinberg’s third novel set at fictional a Pennsylvania University, Tilton, is the first one which sees her series hero, policeman turned academic Joel Williams, tackling a cold case. The investigation is sparked when skeletal remains are discovered during a construction project taking place on campus. The remains are identified as belonging to a student who disappeared from campus in 1974, though there was no investigation at the time. It was the 70’s after all and Bryan Roades was an adult. He could have just gone off ‘to find himself’. Now however we know different.

There is something particularly engaging about the concept of cold cases. Somehow their secrets are even more intriguing than those of present-day cases and they offer an insight over and above a standard whodunit. The exploration of how long-past events can have ripple effects into the present – for victims, relatives, friends and perpetrators – is endlessly fascinating if the number of novels, movies and TV shows which feature this concept are anything to go by. In PAST TENSE we meet several people who are still, in some way, impacted by the events of the past. Bryan’s younger sister has never had any kind of answers about his sudden disappearance from their family life. Bryan was pursuing several students and a professor for a story he was writing for the student newspaper. The things he wanted them to discuss are still, today, painful for them all. And then there’s his lover who was petrified of their relationship being made public. All the people who knew Bryan have some emotions to deal with now that his body has been found, not just his killer and it this element that gives the book its dramatic sensibility and allows readers to connect with the book. Who among us doesn’t have a secret or two they would rather remain unexamined by the prying eyes of the present.

Kinberg is at home with the classic whodunit style of crime fiction and that shows here. PAST TENSE is in many ways a fine example of the genre, though its particular twist is that the investigation occurs almost in relay with Joel Williams doing his share of the work and two active police officers carrying out those parts of the investigation that it would stretch credibility for an amateur sleuth to do. Even a former professional sleuth. I really like this aspect of the novel because it deals intelligently with the problem often presented by amateur sleuth-led stories.

From its gorgeous cover onwards PAST TENSE is a terrific book, especially for those who love a classic mystery. It’s got an interesting suspect pool guaranteed to keep you guessing, engaging investigators, a focus on a fascinating period of history and a solidly constructed plot that is both surprising and satisfying. There’s even a body found by a dog walker (though I suppose technically he’s a dog runner in this instance). Top reading.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfying read 10 Nov. 2016
By K. A. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this recently published title in Margot Kinberg's Joel Williams series.

The discovery of a skeleton leads to an investigation into the disappearance of a student 40 years earlier. And then one of the people the student was friendly with is murdered. So the police investigation hovers between the cold case and the present case, with the detectives becoming convinced that the two cases are related.

Once a detective, always a detective. Joel Williams can't help himself. Especially when he is the one who discovers the second body. Bringing a slightly different perspective to the investigation, as well as a good knowledge of the Tilton campus, Williams adds to what the police know and leads eventually to the arrest of a murderer.

I liked the characterisation of the detectives, and the empathy with their relationship. The plotting is tight and the plot threads are well carried through.

Highly recommended.
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