Excerpt from Close Case by Alafair Burke, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Close Case

by Alafair Burke

Close Case by Alafair Burke X
Close Case by Alafair Burke
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2005, 351 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Rub it in, Kincaid. You have no idea how much I miss my amber ales." She looked down again at the contents of her maternity suit.

"Sorry," I said sheepishly. "Starbucks?"

"You're on," she said, opening the first folder.

Jessica and I each issued fifteen separate cases in the next fifty-six minutes. I won two prosecutorial sprints of the three. A quick read of the police report, a few taps on the ten-key pad for the badge numbers of the arresting officers, and a few more strokes for the applicable sections of the criminal code, and -- voilà! -- out popped a criminal complaint.

If the pace seems callous, don't blame me; blame the system, at least when it comes to issuing custodies. These are the cases filed against suspects who were booked the previous night. If a custody case isn't ready for arraignment by the time the suspect is called on the 2 P.M. docket, the court cuts the suspect loose. Free lattes weren't our only motivation for rushing.



As eight-thirty was rolling around and the rest of the office was finally strolling in, a young woman I recognized as the intake unit's receptionist interrupted our case-issuing sprints.

"You're Kincaid, right?" she asked.

I nodded, scrawling my illegible signature at the bottom of yet another complaint.

"You've got a call from an officer. I'll transfer it back," she said.

"Who is it?" I asked.

"Who pays attention? They asked for you, though."

"Thanks a bunch," I muttered, under my breath. I couldn't figure out who would be calling me at intake, but for the moment it was an excuse to ditch my post, at least for a few minutes.

I picked up the transferred call. "Kincaid."

"Good morning, Ms. Kincaid. It's Jack Walker." Otherwise known as one of my favorite Major Crimes Team detectives. "So my sources were right. You've worked your way all the way up into the glorious misdemeanor unit."

"Rumor's out already, huh? You calling to gloat?"

"I'm busting you out of there. We got a body up in Hillside. I'm told you're our gal."

"Yeah? By whom?"

"That'd be one Senior Deputy District Attorney Russell Frist." He enunciated my supervisors name in the deep booming staccato voice used widely in law enforcement circles to mimic Russ Frist. Apparently Russ had decided this call-out would be mine.

"You need me to come up there?" I asked.

"Definitely," he said. "This one's gonna be a doozy."

As my Jetta putted up the steep incline on Burnside toward what Walker had helpfully described as "the parking lot of those big pink condos," I considered the scenarios possibly awaiting me at the top of the hill -- none of them good. Protocol requires the bureau to connect with our office immediately on every new homicide, just to be sure a DA works the case from the start. But most cases don't warrant the physical presence of a prosecutor at the crime scene. What made this one so special?

When I turned into the parking lot of sprawling Vista Heights, I silently cursed Jack Walker. There must have been eight hundred condos perched on the overlook above north-west Portland, surrounded by acres of parking lot. I cruised the main road surrounding the complex -- as well as its various offshoots -- at a steady five miles per hour, thanks to the frequent and enormous speed bumps spread throughout the property. I finally knew I'd reached the right place at the dead end of one of the side roads when I spotted a flurry of cop activity behind the familiar yellow crime-scene tape.

From Close Case by Alafair Burke, Chapter 1, pages 3-17 of the hardcover edition. Copyright © 2005 Alafair Burke.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.