brutal murder of a hotshot journalist, Samantha Kincaid finds herself
caught in the middle of an increasingly personal-and potentially
dangerous-struggle between Portland's police and the DA's office
For Deputy District Attorney Samantha
Kincaid's thirty-second birthday, she gets an unusual gift: a homicide
call out. The crime scene: the elite Hillside neighborhood in
Portland, Oregon. The victim: hotshot investigative reporter Percy
Crenshaw, who has been bludgeoned to death in his carport.
Tensions in the city have been
running high. The previous week, a police officer shot and killed an
unarmed mother of two in what he claims was self-defense; in the
aftermath, protestors have waged increasingly agitated anti-police
protests. Crenshaw's death, it seems, is not unrelated: within a
matter of hours, police arrest two young men who appear to have
embarked on a crime spree in the aftermath of the protests. The case
looks straightforward, especially when one of the suspects confesses.
But then the man recants, claiming coercive police tactics, and
Samantha finds herself digging for more evidence. Following Crenshaw's
steps, her search leads her through an elaborate maze of connections
between the city's drug trade and officers in the bureau's north
Samantha's pursuit of the truth puts
her in the middle of city political battles and on the outs with the
cops, including her new live-in boyfriend, Detective Chuck Forbes.
Worse yet, the path left by Crenshaw could lead Samantha to the same
With Close Case, Alafair Burke
delivers her most suspenseful and powerful novel yet.
A former deputy DA herself, Burke confidently lays out the procedural details, but she's less sure at rendering complex personal relationships.
Library Journal - Stacy Alesi
Burke's first-person narration works beautifully, but alternating it with the occasional third-person narration for the Hatmaker story line feels awkward in this otherwise superb legal thriller. Highly recommended.
Burke hits her stride in this third outing for Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid....Now that she's mastered the high concept and the breadth, maybe next time Burke can deliver the pace and momentum that would raise her to the first rank.
Booklist - Mary Frances Wilkens
Burke, daughter of author James Lee Burke and once a Portland prosecutor herself, delivers a politically charged, gritty thriller in this third entry in the Samantha Kincaid series.
..a page-turner with humor, intelligence, and a kickass heroine. Alafair Burke just keeps getting better and better.
Laura Lippman Close Case is a terrific, multilayered novel, one that constantly surprises and delights. Everything is just right - the quotidian details about prosecutors, cops, and reporters, the richness of the Portland setting, the seamless plotting. Alafair Burke has outdone herself.
Hot, hardboiled...and highly recommended.
Close Case is the third in Alafair Burke's Samantha Kincaid series, preceded by Judgement Calls
(2003) and Missing Justice
(2004). She is a former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon who now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School and serves as a legal and trial commentator for radio and
TV programs, including Court TV. She is also the daughter of crime writer, James Lee Burke. When asked whether she feels she's following in the footsteps of her father she says, "Actually, when it comes to mysteries, you could say my father followed in my footsteps. Many people don't know that he published several works before turning to crime fiction with The Neon Rain, so no one thought of my father as a mystery writer during my formative years. I, however, was a huge fan of the genre. I plowed through the entire Encyclopedia Brown series and used to steal time with my dad's manual Royal typewriter to hammer out page turners like "Murder at the Roller Disco." So, for the record, I beat my dad to the mystery punch!"
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